Budget Cuts are Coming

8 Feb 2024
Worried woman

West Lothian Council’s budget setting negotiations are underway and this year some impossible decisions will have to be taken, warns local Lib Dem councillor Sally Pattle.

We are facing a bigger funding gap than anticipated due to the Scottish Government’s decision to cut core funding for local government across Scotland – which equates to a loss of more than £1million here in West Lothian. Added to this is the First Minister’s decision to artificially freeze council tax yet again. Despite claims this would be fully funded, councils are only being offered funding to the value of a 5% increase. Here in West Lothian, we had planned to increase council tax by 5.8%, so that’s another £1million lost.

It is clear that the council simply cannot maintain all existing services in their current form and hard choices will have to be made.

Councillor Sally Pattle says:

“This year’s budget setting negotiations are a stark reality check and sadly demonstrate just how little the current Scottish Government value local government. Local Authorities have a wealth of knowledge and expertise amongst their officers, but the relentless drive towards centralisation and Holyrood control means the Scottish Government override local needs, and these constant cuts mean those best placed to deliver for local residents are increasingly unable to do so.”