COSLA comment on outstanding council tax payments

A COSLA Spokesperson said: "Scotland’s councils have a very good record in relation to council Tax collection. Councils take their duties seriously to ensure what is owed to them is collected, fully realising that every pound collected is a pound for frontline services.

"We need to be clear that the amounts which are outstanding are unpaid, not uncollected, and any sums not paid represent lost revenue to Councils. In year collection rates are at their highest ever level and this demonstrates just how seriously Councils take their responsibilities."

Article published: 
Fri, 29/06/2018 - 17:00

COSLA calls for more financial power for councils starting with a Transient Visitor Tax

The President of COSLA, together with COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor, today called for more financial power for Scottish Local Government.

The COSLA team said that this call for more financial power should start with the discretion to introduce a Transient Visitor Tax, and called on the Scottish Government to grant Councils such a power.

Speaking at a media conference in the centre of Edinburgh, Councillors Evison and Macgregor were joined by Councillor Adam McVey, Leader of Edinburgh City Council.

Article published: 
Wed, 27/06/2018 - 09:30

COSLA comment on council reserves

A COSLA Spokesperson commented: “Councils hold reserves as part of a prudent financial strategy for a variety of purposes. It is to be expected that the planned use of reserves will vary year to year in line with individual Council’s approved published financial plans. 

"Some recent examples of this would include:- contingency sums to deal with the impact of an exceptionally harsh winter, such as we have just experienced; investment in service transformation; deployment of resources to fund new service initiatives; and to assist with the phased delivery of budget savings.”

Article published: 
Fri, 22/06/2018 - 17:00

COSLA comment on funeral expenses

A COSLA Spokesperson said: “Local authorities understand that bereavement is a stressful time for families, and are committed to making costs as affordable and transparent as possible.

“Fees and charges for any local government services are a matter for local determination based on need and circumstance.

“COSLA fully recognises that this is a sensitive issue and would be happy to work with Scottish Government and those involved in the funeral business to consider whether any general guidance around the issue may be useful.

Article published: 
Wed, 06/06/2018 - 17:00

COSLA response to John McLaren comment

COSLA President Councillor Alison Evison said: "As we plan for this year’s discussions about the financial settlement, there is no escaping the fact that the last two settlements have not been positive for local government.

"Indeed we did not get the £545million in the last spending review that we had calculated local government needed to stand still.

"So as we look forward we are clear that from a local government finance perspective there is absolutely no more room left for manoeuvre.

Article published: 
Fri, 01/06/2018 - 17:00

COSLA comment on pay campaign - EIS Annual General Meeting 2018

A COSLA Spokesperson said: “We have made an offer to all of the local government workforce in line with the public sector pay policy.”

Article published: 
Fri, 01/06/2018 - 09:00

COSLA comment on transient visitor levy

A COSLA Spokesperson said: “We want to strengthen local democracy and local choice and that is why COSLA, on behalf of Scotland’s Council Leaders, will continue make the case for the introduction of local discretionary taxes such as TVT for all local authorities to address specific local issues.”

Article published: 
Thu, 31/05/2018 - 17:00

COSLA comment on SPICe Report Local Government Finance Figures 2013-14 to 2018-19

A COSLA Spokesperson said: “There is no doubt that Councils have suffered the brunt of cuts in recent years and the simple truth is that Scotland’s councils have no room left to manoeuvre in terms of budgets.
"This report backs up both our Fair Funding for Essential Services report as well as the Improvement Service Benchmarking report.”
Article published: 
Mon, 21/05/2018 - 17:00

COSLA response to Scottish Government financial support due to bad weather

COSLA President Councillor Alison Evison has this afternoon welcomed the announcement that Ministers will consider financial assistance for local councils under the Bellwin Scheme as a result of the weather that has hit Scotland so badly this week.

Councillor Evison said: "Scottish Borders Council requested that the Bellwin scheme be triggered and it is good to see that the Scottish Government has responded so quickly and so positively.  

Article published: 
Sat, 03/03/2018 - 18:00

Scottish Local Government needs long term sustainable funding

Scottish Local Government needs long term sustainable funding COSLA has said.

COSLA reiterated that pay remains a major issue now that expectations have been raised by the removal of the Public Sector pay cap.

Commenting today (Wednesday) COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor said: “Our ask is simple and straightforward.  

“As a sector, Scottish Local Government needs the confidence and assurance that long term sustainable funding helps bring.  

Article published: 
Wed, 21/02/2018 - 01:01