Fair funding and flexibility in this year’s Scottish Budget will be crucial in allowing Local Government to help lead a fast and effective recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
COSLA has said that without adequate funding for Local Government, recovery will stall and a lot of the good progress made to date will be wasted, as the Pandemic has hit our poorest communities hardest.
COSLA President, Councillor Evison, said: “A local focus is essential for COVID recovery. We have jointly committed to a COVID Recovery Strategy with Scottish Government to deal with the immediate impacts of the pandemic. This year’s Scottish Budget must provide fair funding and flexibility so Local Government can lead local action on recovery.
“The Scottish Government’s Recovery Strategy states that the partnerships which underpinned our COVID response will be key to rebuilding public services; good, green jobs and fair work; financial security for low-income households; and wellbeing of Children and Young People.”
Councillor Graham Houston, COSLA Vice President added: “The word ‘local’ appears 48 time across the Strategy’s 46 pages, including local leadership, local partnerships, local government, local transport, local children’s services planning, local employability partnerships, local resilience, and local service design.
“The Scottish Budget on December 9 presents a perfect opportunity to reset Scottish public spending in a way that empowers councils to achieve their ambition for our communities.”
COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor said: “We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to provide the necessary local leadership to deliver on a collaborative approach to recovery that is at all times rooted in the needs of the people that we serve and that will allow them to ‘Live Well Locally’.
“However, there are issues on the ground that will impact the pace of recovery. In addition to cuts to our core budgets over recent years, Councils still experience restrictions around how and when funding can be used – with highly directed and restricted ‘pots’ of money. Councils want to provide services in a way that works for local people that allows us to enable them to ‘Live Well Locally.’”
She concluded: “That is why this year’s Scottish Budget must provide fair funding and the flexibility so Local Government can lead local action to enable fast and effective recovery on behalf of us all.”
COSLA launched its Live Well Locally budget lobbying campaign on November 15. You can read more here: COSLA LAUNCHES BUDGET LOBBYING CAMPAIGN | COSLA