UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Sunday 23 June 2024
 11.4°C   W Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Council / Proposed government funding settlement ‘disappointing’, says council leader

Shetland Islands Council leader Steven Coutts. Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND Islands Council faces a “significant real terms cut” in revenue funding from the Scottish Government in the next financial year, according to leader Steven Coutts.

The council’s funding from the government for public services is proposed to rise by 1.6 per cent – the second lowest increase of all of Scotland’s local authorities.

But Coutts said with “inflation running at over 4.5 per cent” this represents a real terms cut.

Only Orkney, at 1.5 per cent, has a lower percentage increase from the current financial year.

The government said across Scotland there is a real terms increase in revenue support on the cards of 4.9 per cent.

In 2022/23 councils in Scotland will also have the ability to raise council tax.

The figures show that Shetland Islands Council is in line to receive revenue funding of £98.8 million in 2022/23, up from £97.3 million.

This includes ring-fenced money for running internal ferries, which is worth around £17 million in total and again includes cash to cover the council’s funding gap.

The council is also in line to receive around £5.7 million in capital grant money.

Coutts described it as a “disappointing settlement” for local councils.

“There also does not appear to be any additional funding to reflect the ongoing impact of the pandemic on our services,” he added.

“The budget needs to go through parliamentary scrutiny, and then we will look to set our own budget in February.

“It gets ever more challenging each year with continuing real term cuts and increased demand.”

Finance secretary Kate Forbes, however, said the government is “providing councils with a real terms increase to their budgets for the coming year of more than five per cent”.

“Local authorities are key partners with government as we tackle the pandemic and protect our communities, businesses and public services.

“As we move forward, they will play an important leadership role in creating a greener, fairer and more prosperous Scotland.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.