Budget Leader responds to budget announcement
Budget Leader Cllr Bill Fernie welcomed the news that as a result of the budget deal agreed by Scottish Government, there will be a reduced cut to local authorities: “The deal effectively reduces our budget gap from £26 million to £20 million. This has meant that we have been able to reconsider some of the severe cuts to services and third sector groups which were necessary before.
“We have looked carefully at all the savings and have done our best to reduce savings where we can to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities. This means that we can significantly reduce the savings which were proposed for Childcare and Early Learning. Also, some of the cuts to the £4 million funding which goes to third sector groups which provide valuable children’s services, such as Action for Children and Barnardos, will now not be taken.
“We also hope to significantly reduce the planned cut to adult services which are provided through NHS Highland.”
Cllr Fernie went on to say: “We have completely removed any savings from music tuition and we will not increase the charges for existing car parks or the Corran Ferry for this year.
“We will also continue to prioritise our Highland roads by looking to purchase an additional jet patcher.”
He added: “£20 million is still a huge amount to take out of our budget, but we are trying our best to mitigate the impact of this on communities.”
The Budget Proposals will be published on our website on Friday 10 February and decisions will be made at the Highland Council meeting on 16 February.