£11 Million hole in council budget anticipated

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Members of the local authority’s Policy and Co-ordination Committee heard on Thursday (7th) that in spite of a downward revision by £3 million of the estimated Covid-19 economic impact, to £73 million, Fife Council is facing an £11 million budget shortfall.

The move to Level 4 restrictions and then lockdown will increase pressure on finances due to the loss of £20.4m of expected building services income, £7m in lost community income from facilities such as village halls and £1.8 million in car parking fees.

The council has also paid £1.5 million on home-working equipment to ensure services could be delivered by staff remotely.

While an estimated £4.6m of funding from the Scottish Government is expected, Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services, Eileen Rowland, said there are still areas of overspend in which the means of balancing finances have not been identified. How the deficit is covered will be decided when the 2021-22 budget is set in February.

“It is clear that the quantum of funding available for loss of income across Scotland is unlikely to cover the full extent of income lost over the year. On this basis negotiation and dialogue will continue between COSLA, Scottish Government and the UK Government in relation to the consequentials that will be passported to councils.”

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