Dundee facing £70m budget deficit over next three years, councillors told

Dundee Tay Road BridgeDundee City Council has warned that it could be faced with having to make nearly £70 million of savings over the next three years.

A Financial Outlook 2018-21 report, set to be discussed by councillors next week, outlines projections that may be required to achieve a balanced budget, based on possible reductions in the grant the council receives from the Scottish Government.

Over a three year period, the projected cumulative savings range from £54.1m based on a 3% grant reduction, £61.9m on a 4% reduction or as much as £69.6m on a 5% reduction.

Members of the council’s policy and resources committee will receive the report when it meets on Monday December 11, three days before finance secretary Derek Mackay is due to make a budget announcement in the Scottish Parliament.

Council leader and convener of the committee, Councillor John Alexander, said: “These projections have been produced to allow us to better plan how to make efficiencies and shape services for the future.

“We are working hard to produce a balanced budget but there are a number of risks and uncertainties around this process. These include the impact of Brexit, the performance of the Scottish economy and the policies of both the UK and Scottish Governments.

“I am absolutely determined to do the very best we can for the people of this city.

“We need to develop better ways of delivering services to meet these significant financial challenges, building on our strong partnerships with agencies across the city in innovative and pioneering projects.

“Our ambition for Dundee remains undiminished and we are committed to making the city a better place for everyone.

“We cannot shirk the hard work that lies ahead to adapt our services in the face of serious pressures.”

The report explains to councillors that a further update will come to the policy and resources committee in January, detailing the actual grant settlement for 2018-19 and the process for setting the revenue budget and council tax.

Councillor Alexander added: “We have a responsibility to clearly explain the financial position of the council and the implications this will have for everyday service delivery.

“We will also be providing regular updates to the general public and our staff in the lead up to the setting of the council’s revenue budget and the council tax.

“I would stress to the people of Dundee that we are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to finding a way forward for our council.”

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