Highland Council calls for public engagement amid budget proposals

Highland Council calls for public engagement amid budget proposals

Highland Council’s engagement with communities and staff will help to inform the budget proposals and consequent decisions which will be made in February 2024.

This includes allocating resources to deliver the council’s strategic priorities and enable the best outcomes across the Highlands.

The council anticipates a budget gap of £60-70 million in 2024-25 and £108m over the next 3 years. The budget gap will need to be closed by spending less, reducing some services, being more efficient and by increasing the level of income the council generates from council tax and other fees or charges.

Leader of the council, Raymond Bremner invited people to take part: “The council is deeply affected by the financial crisis we are all experiencing. We are facing increasing costs and higher interest rates, leaving us with a significant budget gap next year.

“You can attempt the budget challenge yourself, using an online budget simulator, to see how you would make choices to balance the budget. You can also take part in a short budget survey and we would really like to hear your views.”

Convener of the council, Bill Lobban, added: “It is vital that we understand what is important to communities to help us make the right decisions as we plan ahead for the next three years.

“We want to be able to deliver our Programme priorities and invest in the Highlands and, in order to do that, we need to prioritise how we use the resources available to us. We also have a legal duty to balance the council’s budget.”

You can get more information, watch the video and find out how to complete the survey or take the budget challenge here.

Themes emerging from the engagement activity will be reported to council in December

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