Scotland’s Councils make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of the nation and Local Government’s public protection role must be recognised in budget decisions, COSLA said today (Monday).
COSLA also urged national politicians to respect the communities which Local Government represent, and called for fair funding in this year’s Scottish Budget for the essential services people rely on every day.
Commenting today (Monday), Councillor Gail Macgregor, COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson, said: “Scotland’s councils make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of people across Scotland – from lifeline social care services that keep people out of hospital, to housing and to the open spaces and parks that everyone can enjoy – these things all contribute to wellbeing and the prevention of ill-health.
“This year has also brought Local Government’s public protection role into sharp focus- things like regulation of food premises, food deliveries for people who are shielding, and caring, supportive home care are all helping to relieve pressure on the NHS.
“It is time that the vital role which Local Government plays in the health of the nation is recognised and the spotlight shone on the inadequate funding we get to provide these essential services.
“Recent settlements for Local Government have meant real challenges to the ongoing delivery of local essential services. Without fair funding for Scottish Local Government this year, council services that communities rely upon every day are under threat like never before.
“Year on year, the financial situation has forced councils to make difficult choices. Local Government has risen to the challenge and shown strong leadership, but with the additional pressures that COVID-19 has placed on finances, there will be no way of continuing to protect communities from the impact of cuts – the difference will be visible and felt.
“We need a fair settlement for the year ahead so that councils can continue to provide the everyday essential services our communities need and deserve. A fair deal would also signify that our role across health, wellbeing and public protection is both recognised and valued.”