Audit Scotland has published their report into local government in Scotland giving an overview of the challenges local authorities face. As ever with these reports the language is very much that of an accountant but it is clear that local government is facing a range of difficulties.
The most significant is budget cuts alongside increased demands. Other challenges include Brexit, the increasing variability of the Scottish budget, the outcomes of the local governance review, the Community Empowerment Act consequences and policy changes including:
- Fairer Scotland Act
- Early learning and childcare expansion
- Welfare reform
- Local outcome improvement plans
- National Performance Framework
- Health and social care integration
- Child Poverty Act
There is also a small paragraph on equal pay in Glasgow. The report suggests councils are responding well to the challenges but that means that they are cutting jobs and services to match available funding rather than everything is great. The report includes lots of information that will be useful for branches when planning, campaigning or bargaining in the upcoming year.