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The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, December 14, 2007

Council Financial Settlement

So the Comhairle has received a budget increase of 3% (or 0.7% in real terms).

With salary increases running in excess of that; it means that cuts will be necessary.

As the (discredited) budget formula is based on population growth and changes in school rolls, the Western Isles is pushed further into a vicious circle of decline with only the 'floor mechanism' ensuring that there is any increase in the budget.

Against this, the decision to centralise schooling i.e. close small rural schools, looks not just eminently sensible from a financial perspective, but any contrary decision is simply storing up problems for future years.

Having long forecast that these four years would be financially very difficult appalling for the Comhairle, I now look forward to seeing what is to be cut, and how the books are to be balanced.

At least we seem to have been spared the ritual embarrassment of the sitting MSP telling us what a wonderful settlement it was for the Western Isles.

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