Challenge, choice and change – council consults on cuts

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People across Argyll and Bute are being asked for views on council services as the local authority faces up to years of austerity ahead.

In the next financial year, 2018/19, Argyll and Bute Council’s budget gap is estimated to be between £0.9 million and £8.5 million.

Over the next three years, this will grow to between £11.1 million and £33.9 million.

Councillor Aileen Morton, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council said: ‘Every day Argyll and Bute Council provides services that support our youngest, our oldest and our most vulnerable residents. We work year round to meet the needs of our communities and local businesses to build the economic growth that will bring the people and jobs on which the future of our area depends.

‘Achieving this has become increasingly difficult given cuts to our funding over the past years.

‘The scale of savings we expect to have to continue making in the years to come will mean more difficult choices and significant change in how we work with and for our communities.

‘At the moment, we don’t know exactly what we are dealing with – our funding for 2018-19 is expected to be confirmed by the Scottish Government in December 2017 and we need to agree a budget by mid February.

‘We do know though that change will have to happen. It is with the help of local people that we have already made choices that are transforming the work of the council.

‘With millions of pounds more savings to make, we would like to involve people again in making the best use of the resources we have and I would encourage local people to get involved and make their views known.’

The consultation gives examples of how responses to previous exercises have already helped change the work of the council, and includes questions on service priorities and potential savings options.

It also poses questions more widely about the council and local people working together to benefit communities and Argyll and Bute as a whole.

It is available online at planningourfuture2017 and runs until January 2, 2018.

Printed copies are also available in council customer service points.