WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
Audit Scotland - Council finances increased in 2019/20, but Covid-19 will intensify pressures
Funding received by councils from the Scottish Government increased by £500 million in 2019/20. But Covid-19 will drive large rises in costs and spending, combined with falling income.
Local councils have, however, seen greater reductions in funding over the last seven years than other areas of the Scottish Government budget.
An overview of local government finances in Scotland, published today by the Accounts Commission, reports that councils received higher revenue and capital funding than in previous years and many were able to increase their financial reserves. However much of the additional funding councils received from the Scottish Government must be used for specific purposes, including over £200 million for expanding early learning and childcare. And capital finance funding will drop by 30 per cent in 2020/21.
Looking ahead, Scotland’s councils face significant additional pressures due to Covid-19. This includes substantial and ongoing reductions in income, increased costs and the administration of business support grants and other measures of support to their communities during Covid-19.
The Commission has also repeated its serious concerns about the financial stability and leadership of Integration Joint Boards (IJBs), the bodies set-up to manage local health and social care services. Most IJBs couldn’t deliver services within their budgets and needed extra money from health boards and councils. There were also changes of chief officer in 12 IJBs, and this leadership instability makes it harder to manage both finances and the major changes needed in health and social care.
Elma Murray, Interim Chair of the Accounts Commission, said:
Councils and Integration Joint Boards play a vital role in supporting Scotland’s communities. Even before Covid-19 the pressures and demands on council services had intensified. At the same time reductions in local government funding over the past seven years have been greater than in other areas of the Scottish Government budget.
Covid-19 has fundamentally affected local government services, increasing their reliance on working with their partners and communities. The financial impact of the pandemic on our public services is extreme and creates increased uncertainty of how those services will be provided in the future. Good governance, strong financial management and transparency of decision making will be critical as councils and IJBs deal with the impact and consequences of the pandemic.
Latest News from
WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
CBI responds to extra £93m investment in Wales at Budget02/03/2021 13:33:00
CBI yesterday responded to extra £93m investment in Wales at Budget.
Key Workers supported by TUC meet with Conservative Members of Parliament02/03/2021 12:15:00
Key workers and their trade unions are calling on the government to boost key worker pay in both the public and private sector after a year in which nurses, shop workers and carers have kept the nation going during the pandemic.
NHS Confederation - Political consensus on urgent need to better fund and fix social care, poll reveals02/03/2021 11:40:00
Nine out of ten MPs say that local government does not have enough resource to meet the growing need for social care services and three in five believe that the social care budget should be raised by £7 billion a year over the next two years.
Apprenticeship Levy has failed on every measure and will undermine investment in skills and economic recovery without significant reform, says CIPD02/03/2021 10:40:00
Reforming the levy to a broader, more flexible training levy would boost employer skills investment and business performance, while supporting the Government’s further education reforms, according to the CIPD
CBI comments on launch of 'Help to Grow' scheme02/03/2021 10:33:00
The CBI yesterday commented on the Government’s plans to introduce a Help to Grow scheme to support SMEs to lift productivity.
LGA responds to NAO report on reducing carbon emissions from cars02/03/2021 09:40:00
With longer-term certainty of funding and sufficient access to independent expert support, councils can help motorists switch to zero emission vehicles to achieve the Government's 2050 target.
New law to drive up employment standards in Wales01/03/2021 16:05:00
The Wales Trades Union Congress (Wales TUC) recently (Friday 26 February) warmly welcomed the consultation on the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Bill.
Companies House to resume voluntary and compulsory strike off01/03/2021 14:48:00
Following a temporary pause, we’ll resume our strike off processes from 8 March 2021.
Action now will protect economy and give lasting Budget boost to jobs, confidence and investment01/03/2021 13:33:00
Ahead of Wednesday’s Budget, the CBI has outlined three bold moves the Chancellor can make that would support the Prime Minister’s roadmap and give businesses the boost they need to bring the country back to growth.