‘Serious concerns’ on Clackmannanshire finances

Local authority watchdog the Accounts Commission has said Clackmannanshire Council “must take urgent and decisive action to sort out its financial problems.”

In a new report, the the Accounts Commission highlights serious concerns about the council’s financial position as it faces making savings of £29 million over the next three years out of an annual budget of £118 million.

The Commission said Clackmannanshire is Scotland’s smallest mainland council and “has relatively high levels of deprivation.”

It is one of three of the 32 councils that the Commission recently identified at risk of running out of general fund reserves within two or three years “if they continued to spend reserves at the same rate in recent years.”

The Commission said strong leadership is now essential in the wake of previous political instability.

The Commission recommends the council seeks external support, for example from other councils.

Graham Sharp, chair of the Accounts Commission, said: “This report is a wake up call.

“Councillors and officers in Clackmannanshire urgently need to work together to make the fundamental changes required to address its financial position, so that it can continue to deliver the key services people depend on.

“This means taking difficult decisions it has put off in the past. But not taking them now is not an option and will only make things worse in the longer term.”