Call for evidence - Scrutiny of Draft Budget 2014-2015

We are seeking evidence from interested parties on the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2014-15. 

We have agreed a two-pronged approach to our budget scrutiny – a look forward over the next two years of the spending review, and a look back over the Government’s progress and performance during the period of 2011 Spending Review. 

Set out below are some key questions on which we are seeking your views. While these are being issued in advance of the publication of the Scottish Government’s draft 2014/15 budget (in September), only one question is directly linked to the terms of the budget settlement—

Looking back

  • Over the period of the 2011 Spending Review, to what extent have the resources provided to local government been sufficient to deliver on the joint priorities agreed between COSLA and the Scottish Government, and to deliver local government’s statutory duties?
  • Overall, how have local authorities dealt with the “flat-cash” (i.e. real terms reduction) revenue settlement, and what has been the impact on the delivery of services? 
  • Are there particular examples of good and bad practice across local authorities in dealing with the budget settlement?  How is good practice shared and disseminated and how is bad practice addressed?
  • What has been local government’s contribution to the delivery of the Scottish Government’s Purpose, and its 16 National Outcomes, and how is this captured and measured?

Looking forward

  • Over the years of the new Spending Review, are the resources being provided to local government sufficient to deliver on currently agreed priorities, and other statutory duties? 
  • What are the key challenges and pressures that local authorities face over the period of the new spending review, and what planning has been undertaken?
  • What initiatives are being undertaken by local authorities to support the coherent delivery of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
  • What further measures are required during the period of the new Spending Review to ensure the delivery of the equalities agenda and support the development of the most vulnerable sections of society?
  • In what ways will the local government benchmarking framework be used in relation to the budget settlement?
  • How will the wider public service reform agenda support local authorities’ ability to deal with the consequences of the budget settlement?

How to submit written evidence

Please respond to specific questions set out above and add any other relevant information you feel should be brought to our attention. Evidence should be reasonably brief and typewritten (normally no more than six to eight sides of A4 in total).

Before you submit evidence, please ensure you have read our Policy on Treatment of Written Evidence by Subject and Mandatory Committees.

The deadline for receipt of written submissions is Friday 27 September 2013. We prefer to receive written submissions electronically. These should be sent to [email protected]

You may also make hard copy written submissions to:

Local Government and Regeneration Committee

Room T3.40

Scottish Parliament

EH99 1SP