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PRESSURE MOUNTS ON THE EXECUTIVE TO DELIVER ON BUDGET COMMITMENT

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Pressure is mounting on the Scottish Executive to end the confusion surrounding its spending plans by publishing a ...
Pressure is mounting on the Scottish Executive to end the confusion surrounding its spending plans by publishing a comprehensive local government budget.

Councils say it is impossible to determine their priorities ahead of next year's spending review because the Executive has failed to produce a baseline budget which draws together both government grant and the various initiative-based pots of money allocated to local government.

Norie Williamson, strategic director at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, said in August finance minister Andy Kerr had committed to producing a comprehensive budget, but had yet to deliver.

'We are about to embark on a series of meetings with service ministers, and we need to know what our baseline is before determining our priorities,' he said.

'Developing our relationship with the Executive into a partnership is something that's got to be worked at, and we expect [ministers] to honour their commitments.'

Dundee City Council finance director David Dorward said lack of transparency made it impossible to compare the Executive's budget with the needs of councils.

'If local government and the Scottish Executive could agree which playing field we are all on, then the goalposts would not keep shifting,' he said.

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