City of Edinburgh Council ‘on track’ to deliver three-year budget
The City of Edinburgh Council has announced a new timetable to enable councillors to agree a three-year budget on 20 February.
Following confirmation from the Scottish Government last week that the cabinet secretary for finance, economy and fair work intends to outline his spending plans on 6 February, a special finance & resources committee has been added to the council diary on 14 February, where proposals for spending and investing will be considered in more detail.
A series of proposals developed by council officers, which have this week been shared with all political groups in the City Chambers, will be developed into Coalition proposals and published on 10 February. No decisions have been made and officers continue to explore a number of options based on previous feedback from residents and council employees.
Adam McVey, council leader, said: “Despite the uncertainty brought about by delays to the UK Government’s budget announcement, we’re committed to setting a balanced three-year budget for Edinburgh – paving the way for record capital investment in our schools and transport over the next 10 years.
“We’ve already started outlining our long-term plans for making the city more sustainable and accessible while managing our city’s growth more fairly and effectively. But to reach these goals, we need to act now and make the smartest use of the resources we have available.
“Yes, there will be some difficult decisions we’ll need to make – that’s no secret. But it’s extremely disappointing that budget information, much of it inaccurate, has found its way into the public domain, causing unnecessary alarm in our communities.
“We won’t let this cloud the process or stand in the way of our priority, which is to agree the best budget for the people of Edinburgh; one that supports people out of poverty, responds to the climate crisis and allows our residents to share in our city’s success.”
Cammy Day, depute leader, added: “While many councils across the country will be meeting next month or even later to set a one-year budget, we’re going further, outlining our spending plans until March 2023.
“Despite challenging budgets and continued pressure on local government finance, we will set a three-year budget to allow the council, partner organisations and our residents some certainty for the next few years.
“We will prioritise and invest in the areas our citizens have told us really matter to them, with a focus on poverty and sustainability. I’m confident that our future planning will see the capital city with a positive and progressive outlook for the future.”