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Council now facing £30 million funding gap

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By Fiona Reid
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Council now facing £30 million funding gap

DUMFRIES and Galloway Council’s three-year funding gap has risen to £30 million, it was revealed this week.

The rise is due to the Local Government Finance Settlement, which includes a council tax freeze, plus inflationary and service cost pressures.

An update will go to this week’s finance, procurement and transformation committee on the council’s budget position and financial projections for the next three years.

And members will be told they need to make estimated total savings of £30.08M over the next three financial years – up to 2027.

A range of revenue-raising and savings options will be outlined, including increased council tax on second homes, council tax increases and changes to services.

Committee chairman Councillor Ivor Hyslop yesterday said: “Our council made some tough decisions at last year’s budget in late February and this year will be no different.

“In the short-term, we are in a better position than most and through prudent financial management are able to draw on non-recurring resources to protect vital services.

“However, like all local authorities, in the medium-term we face mounting costs and reduced funding.”

Vice chair Councillor Richard Marsh added: “The actual funding received by local government in the latest settlement reflects a cash-funding reduction of £62.7m, with our council’s share of this reduction estimated at £3.1m.

“No additional resources have been received to support pay increases, non-pay inflation or service pressures.

“Our reputation as a council for ‘sound financial management’ was this month highlighted by the Accounts Commission and we will continue to take a prudent approach to what is a challenging fiscal backdrop.”

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