Comhairle Budget Strategy

councilHebrides-TodayComhairle nan Eilean Siar agreed a budget strategy for 2016-18 at meetings last week.


There is considerable uncertainty around what the financial settlement for Scotland might look like

after the General Election on 7 May 2015 and therefore what the allocation for Local Government and consequently individual councils might be.


Some estimates are that, in a worst case scenario, £15.7m of savings will be required over the 5 year period if there is a continuation of flat cash funding. This figure includes an estimated £6.3m reduction in Government funding. The remainder is made up of inflation, pension costs and demographic change costs.


The Comhairle has estimated what it needs to find year on year but this is still dependent on a number of currently unknown factors. This is challenging, as the extrapolated figures show, but the Comhairle has a good track record of managing its budget as it has done over the past five years against a very similar financial backdrop.


Current estimates are that savings of £4.1m and £3.1m will be required in 2016/17 and 2017/18 respectively. For 2016/17 savings of £2.4m in loan charges and the agreed use of £0.5m of balances will reduce the savings needed to £1.2m. This leaves £4.3m to find over the two years.

The financial picture after that is dependent on a range of factors but the Comhairle will continue to manage its finances as efficiently as possible and to lobby for the best possible financial settlement.

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