Community council told £3.7m cuts won’t be ‘too bad’

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Argyll and Bute Council’s next annual budget must find savings to fill a £3.7 million gap, Islay Community Council has heard.

Speaking about the budget, due to be announced at the end of February, Kintyre and the Islands councillor and council leader Robin Currie said most savings would come from operational management, but some would have policy implications.

‘Savings will have to be made,’ Councillor Currie said, ‘but it is not looking too bad in that a lot of the proposed savings are what are termed ‘operational matters’ which can be taken by officers.

‘There’s not the big issues that necessitated going out to public consultation the way we did in the last few years.

‘At this stage I think, and certainly hope, we do not have to go into the areas that we did two, three, four years ago, which were not pleasant.’

He added: ‘There is still a long way to go. We will be working right up to the budget.’

Councillor Currie said rising inflation, currently at 5.4 per cent, also presents a problem for the council coffers, but a bigger one is the ’10 to 30 per cent’ hike in the cost of building materials, which will put a ‘big pressure’ on its expenditure on capital projects.