MILLIONS of pounds of savings will still have to be made to local services in Argyll and Bute despite an increase in government funding, the local council’s leader has warned.

The Scottish Government announced last week that Argyll and Bute Council will receive £213.3 million in revenue funding from the Scottish Government in the next financial year.

That’s a year-on-year increase of £4.5m – but in percentage terms it amounts to 2.2 per cent, one of the smallest increases in Scotland.

Councillor Robin Currie said: “We have no choice or control over how to use the bulk of the £4.571m additional funding.

READ MORE: Argyll and Bute Council's revenue funding for 2021/22 decided

"£4.185m of that must be spent on specific Scottish Government priorities, including early learning and childcare, discretionary housing payments, the Living Wage in social care, and more.

“That leaves just £386,000 which can be used to help fund those core council services – an increase of 0.2 per cent.

“It’s important to remember that we must also meet an estimated overall budget gap of over £6.3m.

“This means that to deliver a balanced budget we still face difficult choices and need to make significant savings.”

The council is due to set its budget for 2021-22 next Thursday, February 25 – the same day the Scottish Government’s own spending plans for the new financial year will be debated by MSPs for the first time.

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