Council can do more to maintain reserves ‘legacy’, auditors say

More could be done to protect the council’s reserves, its audit committee meeting heard today (Tuesday). 

Audit Scotland assistant director Brian Howarth said the draw on the council reserves had grown in the last year and could eventually harm public services. 

But the auditor said he was “less concerned” with how the council’s reserves had performed since he was appointed.

Mr Howarth said: “When I started in this position this year, I wanted to take a look at the reserves position and I’m less concerned as previous auditors were about it.

“I think Shetland is in a very enviable position compared to other councils. But I think I still needed to emphasise the scale of that draw particularly in managing the legacy of that long-term position.”

The report said there was an increased reliance on the use of reserves to balance the council’s budget over the last two years. 

And it was projected that £37 million would be required for the general fund for the next financial year. 


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