Orkney Islands Council Leader, Councillor James Stockan, has described the Scottish Government’s decision to pass £155 million of funding from the UK Government in full to Councils as a ‘significant victory for local government’.
In April, the UK Government revealed an extra £1.6 billion was being made available to local councils, with a £155 million share given to the Scottish Government. .
Council leaders had appealed to the Scottish Government through COSLA, the local authority umbrella body in Scotland, to give that funding directly to Scottish councils immediately in order that they could continue providing a huge range of essential services to meet the needs of communities at a time when costs are increasing significantly and income has dropped substantially - due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Stockan said: “Today’s announcement from the Scottish Government has shown the value in council leaders working on a common cause together at a time of crisis to press the Scottish Government to give us the support we so badly need and deserve. The Government’s eventual decision to bow to our pressure and pass this money on is a significant victory for local government.
“Much more support is needed for local services from the Scottish Government though. There is more funding that should be available to us and we will continue to fight for that. Local councils are facing unprecedented difficulties. The costs of providing key services is rising and yet our income is dropping – an effect of the current crisis is being felt keenly in Orkney. “