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Budget warning

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By Fiona Reid
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Budget warning

PRUDENCE will be required from Dumfries and Galloway Council to meet budget commitments over the medium-term.

The finance, procurement and transformation committee will tomorrow get an update on the local authority’s Medium Term Financial Strategy, which outlines the budget position and financial projections over the next three years.

Members will hear how the council will need to make estimated total savings of £21 million over the next three financial years – £7.1m in the current year, rising to £21.12m by 2025/26.

The report also points to three areas of “potential volatility” that could affect its projections: pay, non-pay inflation and Scottish Government grant funding.

Committee chair Councillor Ivor Hyslop said: “Faced with a three-year £40m funding gap coming into this year’s council budget in late February, our council took some difficult decisions, but still the fiscal situation remains challenging for all local authorities.

“Although these savings estimates are based on the best information we currently have available, they will potentially have to be revised dependent on what the Scottish Government’s grant funding for local government is going to be.”

Annual grant funding from the Scottish Government represents around 83 per cent of the council’s net revenue budget, which is £437.45M for the current financial year.

Dumfries and Galloway Council is currently establishing a programme of service change to support future financial sustainability and prioritisation of services – and meet its funding shortfall.

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