The council’s Finance and Resources Committee meets next week, and councillors will then mull over the financial proposals for the coming financial year. One thing is clear there will have to be savings.
The council gets most of its money from The Scottish Government and based on the amount that has been promised so far the council needs to shave £41 million of revenue spending off a £1 billion budget.
It is very much hoped that there will be more money available from Holyrood, and Council Leader Adam McVey told us that he is optimistic that will happen. He said : “We got about £10 million less than we hoped for. There are some negotiations down in Holyrood which may take that in a different direction, but that is our current position.
The council began their Strategy for Change and Delivering Services in the autumn last year.
They then waited to hear from The Scottish Government about the figure which Edinburgh will get from Holyrood.
Now, they have opened up their financial proposals to public consultation so that you can have your say.
Finally, the council will set its budget at its meeting on 21 February when the full council meets.
A further £150million of cuts will be required over the next three years and the administration has set out what it calls a forward thinking approach designed to meet those challenges. The proposals are complex and wide ranging and include shedding about 300 council posts.
There is still £600 million available for new council homes or the refurbishment of existing ones, nearly £200 million for school construction and refurbishment and at least £125 million for roads, pavements and cycle paths. The plans for transformation of the city centre are also unaffected.
Council leader Adam McVey said: “As we grapple with the additional demands on our services, we face significant financial challenges and are faced with some tough decisions as a result. But that doesn’t mean we’ve lost our ambition for our capital city – or indeed our commitment to protect those services that we know our most vulnerable residents rely upon.
“The majority of these draft proposals relate to how we can manage the Council better and be more efficient, including reducing the cost of senior management and finding ways of maximising our income. Crucially, this approach allows us to prioritise and sustain investment in important services including homelessness, early years and education.
“I would encourage all residents to let us know what they think of the proposals either online or by speaking with their local councillor ahead of our budget meeting on 21 February.”
Depute leader Cammy Day added: “The reality is that our draft financial settlement from the Scottish Government is worse than we expected and we need to make an unprecedented level of cuts to our services. The only way to do this is by prioritising our front-line services, generating greater income and setting a fair, balanced budget which promotes inclusivity and protects the most vulnerable in society.
“That said, we will continue to meet with government ministers and MSPs from across all parties to help them better understand the impact on our services and to push for a fairer and more proportionate settlement for our capital city.”
The figures have just been published and we will give you more details of the actual proposals soon.
Here is what Councillor McVey told us this afternoon :
Council Leader Adam McVey spoke to us earlier about the council budget which will be set next month and how you can help them finalise the proposals for it. The council has plans to cut £41 m from its revenue expenditure pic.twitter.com/hvgzrfbQy4— Edinburgh Reporter (@EdinReporter) January 18, 2019