Recognising the significant challenges presented by the Covid-19 Pandemic, Local Government has to be a major priority COSLA has said in its submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee.
COSLA’s submission urges the Committee to consider Local Government investment as an essential part of the 2021-22 Scottish Budget, recognising the significant challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic adding that those who have been impacted most, together with our communities and businesses will require Council support going forward.
Commenting on the Submission which has now been lodged with the Parliament COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor said: “The COVID-19 crisis has challenged public services in an unprecedented way.
“Local Government in Scotland has been paramount to the nation’s response, ensuring children and vulnerable groups have secure access to food; that people who are shielding can access vital support; businesses can remain viable; and that schools can re-open safely.
“We recognise that this is an uncertain and volatile environment for the whole public sector, but without more financial stability for Local Government over the medium to long term, Councils cannot plan robustly for the pressures they face.”
Councillor Macgregor concluded: “Short term cuts will have to be made, including job losses and service cuts that impact all communities. There needs to be a fundamental shift in the way these vital services are funded. We need longer term certainty in relation to budgets – for at least 3 years and the ability to use resources flexibly to best meet local circumstance.
“By addressing this, Local Government, and indeed Scotland as a whole, will be on a stronger footing to improve outcomes for people, and drive inclusive social and economic recovery.”