Comhairle cautions over the financial challenges ahead

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Councils across Scotland face significant challenges in the year ahead states a report from the Accounts Commission into Local Government finances.

Responding to the report the Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Angus Campbell, said: “It is to be welcomed that the Accounts Commission recognises that Councils have managed their finances well. They are also right to emphasise that significant challenges lie ahead.”

He added that the Comhairle had a good track record in managing finances but the financial pressures shouldn’t be understated. To combat these pressures they are exploring different service delivery models, whilst developing financial planning.

Mr Campbell continued: “The Comhairle has adopted a strategic approach to the use of reserves to smooth budget savings and protect, as far as reasonably possible, services, it is clearly the case that reduced resources have an impact on services and can have an impact on jobs. The Comhairle has avoided compulsory redundancies and will aim to maintain that position.”

He pointed out the importance of jobs to the local economy and said the Comhairle will be encouraging the Scottish Government to invest in the islands. He added that they are seeking discussions on how to take an Islands Deal forward to utilise part of the additional £800m capital for Scotland announced in the Autumn Statement.