Cambuslang Community Council has submitted its objections to budget savings proposed by South Lanarkshire Council. You can find our submission here.
The background is that on 13 January 2021, the Executive Committee of South Lanarkshire Council approved a revenue budget paper with recommendations for budget savings of £15.6 million. The extent to which these are realised depends significantly on the implications for South Lanarkshire Council from the Local Government Settlement following the recent presentation of the Scottish Government budget and future income from Council Tax and non-domestic rates.
Cambuslang are deeply concerned at the potential cuts to lifeline services in education and social care, the impact on learning and life chances of our young people and on the most vulnerable members of our community. Other savings in areas such as environmental services also have implications for the health and wellbeing of the whole community. Many of the savings involve staff reductions which have implications for the reduced quality and affordability of services as well as the loss of jobs for those working in local government.
Cambuslang Community Council is calling for a detailed cost-benefit analysis to be undertaken of any savings, covering their impacts on the community, to inform any decisions are made. We welcome the intention to “engage with communities to consider impact, explore opportunities and discuss options and solutions”. However, direct consultation with community councils and other community bodies should be an input to the decision-making process and NOT undertaken after the decisions are made. If the Council’s commitment to ‘community participation and empowerment’ – including establishing a dedicated team for engagement with communities – is to have practical meaning, early and serious dialogue with communities needs to start now.