Slight rise in council’s funding settlement from government

Shetland Islands Council is to receive a slight increase in funding from the Scottish government for the next financial year despite huge pressures on the Scottish and national budgets due to the financial downturn.

The amount of money arriving in the council’s coffers from Edinburgh will be £98.3 million, a rise from £96.7 million this year. When the capital allocation is included, the total reaches just over £106,000.

Head of finance with the SIC Graham Johnston said the 2010 figure represented “no significant change on what has been awarded previously” and was “in line with [the council’s] expectations”.

Late last year Mr Johnston said he was alarmed at the prospect of a £16.3 million black hole in the council’s budget for 2010-11, with department submitting hugely ambi­tious spending projections. How­ever, it is understood that almost £11 million in “budget reductions” have been identified with further work ongoing.

This followed a meeting of the council’s leadership team on 11th December designed to start the process of getting the council back in line with its budget strategy of weaning itself off the oil reserves for service provision.

Finance secretary John Swinney announced the funding settlement for local government in Scotland on Thursday.

Mr Swinney said: “We recognise the very real challenges faced by councils and businesses in a chal­lenging climate. The announce­ments I am making today will help local authorities protect frontline services and play their part in economic recovery.”


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