This year, like no other, communities across Scotland have been supported and protected by both the work and the workforce of Local Government, COSLA said today (Monday).
Individuals, families and businesses across the country have felt the support and solidarity of the Local Government workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But being at the forefront of the country’s response is contributing to ongoing financial challenges for Scotland’s Councils – and will impact on budgets for years to come, COSLA further warned.
The organisation is calling for fair funding in this year’s Scottish Budget for the essential services people rely on every day.
COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson, Councillor Gail Macgregor, said: “Individuals, families and businesses the length and breadth of Scotland have felt the extraordinary support of Local Government as the country battles through the COVID-19 pandemic. But this support comes at a cost – and at a time when income streams have dried up, in areas such as sport and leisure centres, parking fees, and licensing.
“From social care provided every day in people’s homes and critical childcare during lockdown, to ensuring the safe reopening and operation of schools and administering evolving business grant schemes, the Local Government workforce has been, and continues to be, at the forefront of the response.
“And the need for support will continue into the New Year and beyond as the country continues to overcome the pandemic.”
She continued: “All spheres of government must respect our communities and support them to recover, renew and rebuild. The legacy of the pandemic will mean that support will be required, especially for the most vulnerable in our communities, over the months and years to come.
“We need a fair settlement in this year’s Scottish Budget for the year ahead, so that Councils can continue to provide the essential everyday services our communities rely upon.”