COSLA has welcomed the report out today (Thursday) from the Accounts Commission which chimes heavily with similar recent reports showing that despite substantial cuts in funding Councils continue to show strong performance in key service areas and deliver essential services for their communities.
Commenting on the Local Government Overview Report COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor said: "Today’s Accounts Commission report, like other recent independent reports, clearly shows that Councils have performed well and continued to deliver essential services for their communities over the last year despite the severe financial challenges that they face.
"Today’s report also makes clear that difficult times and choices lie ahead - coupled with continuing pressure on our finances.”
Councillor Macgregor continued: "It is pleasing that the report also supports COSLA’s position presented in our recent #essentialservices and Budget Reality campaigns, and is especially helpful in highlighting the multiple new policy areas which Local Government will deliver.
"It also points out that firstly, Councils increasingly have less say over the budget they have for other services that they deliver with education and social work being protected, and secondly, that there has been an ongoing real team funding reduction for Local Government between 2013/14 and 2019/20.
"It is for a combination of all these reasons that COSLA strongly lobbied the Scottish Government this year for a fair settlement for the essential services councils deliver to their communities.
"We hope that eventually our message will be heard by Scottish Government, and they recognise our asks, we are not simply saying these things for the sake of it.
"Reports such as today’s from the independent Accounts Commission clearly outline the harsh reality that Councils face on the ground in terms of frontline essential service delivery – and that the current financial treatment of Local Government is not sustainable nor in anyone’s interests especially our Communities who rely on vital services."