Councils in Scotland lament lack of funds

Scottish executive spending plans will leave local authorities
short, Scottish councils have warned.

Under the plans, local government spending in Scotland will rise
from £8,123m in 2003-4 to £8,918m in 2007-8 – an increase
of just 9.8 per cent before inflation. Within the plans, local
authorities will also be expected to find almost £250m in
efficiency savings.

Cosla president Pat Watters said the increase in grant support was
“well short of what we wanted and in this respect it allows us to
stand still but not much more”.

Significant targets published alongside spending plans include a 25
per cent increase in the numbers of qualifying social workers and
increasing the average number of days’ training each social worker
gets by 10 days per year by March 2008.

In Wales, meanwhile, the Welsh Local Government Association said
the settlement for Welsh councils announced this week would leave
them facing “significant challenges”.

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