By Natalie Miller
COSLA (The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) are reporting that any more cuts to local funding will have ‘severe consequences’ for jobs across the country.
In November, a forecast by the Accounts Commission predicted that Scotland’s councils could be facing a shortfall of more than £550 million in just two years’ time.
Speaking in advance of the Scottish Government laying out its spending plans for next year, COSLA President Councillor David O’Neill said: “The Scottish Government needs to realise that if as a result of their political choices the local government settlement is cut again next week – this will have severe consequences for jobs across Scotland.
“There were 7,000 job losses arising from the £350m cut to Scottish councils last year. A further reduction in budget of similar proportions, on an already reduced base, will have even more severe consequences for job losses in councils and have a wider knock on effect for jobs within communities. We need to remember that services are delivered by these people – no people, no services to communities.”
Across Ayrshire this could have a impact on employment as the services provided by the council are needed not only to support the public but also the people who need the job.
Derek Mackay, the Finance Secretary, is presenting his draft budget to MSPs on December 15.
UWSnewsroom spoke to East Ayrshire Council who said: “We are waiting to here the budget on the December 15 and don’t want to give any comment of speculation on our thoughts in regards to how this may affect the services.”
Council Leader Ben McIntosh, said: “Our initial financial projections in June 2016 indicated that for 2017-18 we would have a gap in revenue terms of £5.4 million. This position is deteriorating as new factors and new information becomes known and the gap is likely to increase significantly further over the period. Managing this position and responding to new and changing demands requires the council to alter the approach we take.”