Committee to probe council spending

By William Eichler | 14 September 2017

A review of how local authorities in Scotland prioritise spending and assess the impact of increased charges was launched today by a parliamentary committee.

Scotland's Local Government and Communities Committee will look into council spending ahead of its scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s draft budget for 2018/19.

It will study a range of areas, including changes to the charges for burial services, local authority gyms and access to public toilets.

Committee convener, Bob Doris MSP, said: ‘We know that local governments have been facing financial challenges for a long time because of growing demands on their services and significant revenue budget cuts, as part of UK-wide reductions in public sector budgets.

‘We want to ensure that a fully transparent position of local government finances can be established, which takes into account other funding streams within councils such as pupil equity funds, health and social care integration funds and City Deal resources.

‘While local authorities have been making savings over previous years, the future shape of the local government settlement is changing and this may pose a level of uncertainty they’ve not previously had to cope with.’

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