Help South Lanarkshire Council decide how best to balance the budget

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Readers are being urged to have their say on savings options under consideration to balance the council’s budget.

There are 42 specific options that could help bridge South Lanarkshire Council’s £20.7 million projected budget gap for 2024-25.

They have been put up for discussion by council officers, ahead of elected members having to agree a budget, which is likely to happen in the New Year.

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There is little doubt difficult decisions will have to be made, which is why South Lanarkshire Council wants to canvass public opinion once again – ahead of those cuts having to be decided.

Council is once again asking locals to have their say, ahead of some tough budget cuts in the new year.Council is once again asking locals to have their say, ahead of some tough budget cuts in the new year.
Council is once again asking locals to have their say, ahead of some tough budget cuts in the new year.

Council Leader Joe Fagan said: “Make no mistake – no-one wants to see cuts to council services.

“However, councillors of all political groups are going to have to make some difficult decisions, because the simple fact is that we are no longer getting the funding we need to continue to do all the good work we want to.

“What’s important now is that we hear the views of local residents and service users. More than 2000 people have already taken part in an initial budget consultation and now we hope they will tell us what they think about the specific savings options that are now on the table.”

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With £3.3 million in savings already identified from management and operational measures, the 42 additional options highlight £15.3 million potential further savings across community and enterprise, housing, social work, education and finance and corporate resources.

Local authorities are waiting for details of funding that will be available to deliver the Scottish Government’s planned Council Tax freeze and how that might also help bridge the budget gap. In total a shortfall of £95.8 million has been identified for the council over the next four years.

The new survey can be found at online1.snapsurveys.com/interview/e2cbd756-214a-4343-9972-df4d442f1332 . You can also take part by posting responses to Budget Consultation, Floor 4, South Lanarkshire Council, Almada Street, Hamilton, ML3 0AA.

Paper copies of the survey can be requested via the same postal address. The survey will remain open until midnight on Friday, January 12.

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Council tenants across South Lanarkshire are also being asked to share their views on rent prices for 2024-25.

The council has launched a survey for residents to give their feedback on the proposed rent level options and council priorities for 2024-25.

Councillor Davie McLachlan, housing and technical resources committee chairman, said: “We understand that money is tight for many of our customers, so we continue to strive to remain one of the most affordable landlords in Scotland. At the same time, we also want to be able to continue to deliver the high-quality housing services that our customers deserve. This has been a key focus as we plan ahead into 2024-25.”

You can complete the online survey at online1.snapsurveys.com/interview/4708caf9-00c8-4990-ad9a-2b6399176218. It will remain open until January 12.

Tenants will also be able to attend local focus group meetings. Anyone interested should email [email protected].