Falkirk Wheel at sunset.

Past achievements delivering vital cost savings

Falkirk Council has confirmed that a new report has highlighted the significant progress that it has made on it value assurance.

Since the council’s last Best Value Assurance Report in 2022, the council has made progress, however it has also acknowledged that the commitment to meeting the needs of communities is ongoing.

Through the latest report, Audit Scotland’s commission praised the council’s proactive approach that it has taken to tackling its financial challenges, however a £62 million budget gap still remains. One way that is addressing financial struggles is through its transformational change programme, as well as Council of the Future, and recognising that past achievements are delivering costs savings, now.

Community engagement is one of the areas that requires further development, as the report has acknowledged existing efforts for consultation but efforts to develop a community engagement strategy must be accelerated so that residents are involved in decision-making processes.

Falkirk council

Chief Executive of Falkirk Council, Kenneth Lawrie, said:

"While the findings are a positive acknowledgement of our commitment to ongoing improvement, they also highlight the massive financial and operational challenges that lie ahead of us. There is no denying the fact we still have a financial mountain to climb and must find savings to close a £62 million budget gap. That is not going to be easy, and tough decisions will need to be made.

“It is clear, however, that the collaborative efforts of our elected members and officers have been fundamental in driving positive change over the past two years. As we move forward, maintaining and strengthening that collaborative spirit will be more vital than ever. It will be key in navigating the difficult choices that lie ahead and in ensuring the successful delivery of our strategic priorities."

The enhancement of strategic planning and performance reporting is one measure that has been praised as a positive step by the commission, however further development on the use of performance data was outlined. This will support improvements across the council, whilst assisting with the publication of service plans.


Image credit: iStock


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