Friday November 9th 2018
Midlothian residents and local groups are being given the opportunity to have their say on how the council should spend its money in 2019/20.
Current estimates show that Midlothian Council will need £211.8 million to fund local services next year. More than half of this will be spent on education and communities and a quarter on health and social care. However, expected continuing cuts in Scottish Government funding, at a time of increased demand for these and other services, means that the council’s funding is likely to be £6.216 million short of what is needed.
A public consultation has now been launched to ask local residents what the council’s spending priorities should be.
“We’re looking at how best to meet the growing demand for key services and want to give local people and community organisations the opportunity to have their say,” explained Midlothian Council Leader, Councillor Derek Milligan. “This follows on from the extensive public consultation carried out last year which looked at a range of savings proposals covering a four-year period.
“Around three-quarters of our funding comes from the Scottish Government and the amount we receive is being drastically reduced year after year. This is despite the increased pressures we are having to deal with from a fast growing population on education, health, social care, child protection and other services.
“We’re committed to working with voluntary and community groups to make a difference to the lives of individuals, their families and communities – particularly those in the greatest need,” added Councillor Milligan.
“As well as asking local people what they think our spending priorities should be, we’re asking them what we could do differently to save money, and what services should we reduce or stop providing to help continue funding those services that are seen as priority.”
As part of the public consultation planned between now and the end of January, community engagement meetings will be held with representatives from voluntary organisations, community councils and other local groups.
You also can take part in the consultation at www.midlothian.gov.uk/spendingchoices or email comments and suggestions to HaveYourSay@midlothian.gov.uk.
Written comments can also be handed in to any Midlothian library or council office or posted to Have Your Say, Midlothian House, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith EH22 1DN.
The council is expected to set its budget and Council Tax for 2019/20 in February next year.Tweet Share on Facebook