Local authority could raise council tax by three per cent

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Falkirk Council is looking to decrease its workforce and increase council tax to deal with its looming £20.7 budget shortfall.

A report considered by members of the council today has highlighted the financial trouble the local authority continues to face and projections have shown the deficit will continue to affect the provision of services, so proposals have been put forward by officers in an attempt to redress the issue.

Officers were asked to put forward budget options for members to consider prior to their budget setting meeting on February 22 next year.

Options put forward include the potential to raise council tax by up to 3 per cent to raise £1.7 million, a reduction in the total workforce and changes to terms and conditions, a reduction in external funding to local organisations and further use of council reserves

Council leader Craig Martin said: “These are the toughest times we have ever faced as a council and we are looking at significant changes to all aspects of our services.

“The recent Local Government Settlement falls short of what could have been expected, especially when local government across Scotland is being so hard hit. In real terms it marks a £10 million shortfall in our grant.

“We still have to find £20 million in savings and that will inevitably lead to changes to our services as well as a reduction or withdrawal in a number of areas.”