Call for support to Chancellor and Finance Secretary

Inverclyde Council leader has written to both the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes MSP, seeking support for local councils in the planned budget announcements by both.

Councillor Stephen McCabe, echoed calls by local government body COSLA, for a fair settlement for local government.

He said: “I am calling on both the Scottish and UK Government’s to recognise the unprecedented challenges facing local Councils and our communities across the United Kingdom by providing further recurring funding in 2021/22 to help us meet these challenges.

“If Councils don’t receive a fair funding settlement in the coming year much of the good work we have been seeing here in Inverclyde and across the country by councils will be undone and we will not be in position to play our full part in the recovery."

The call comes on the day the council agreed its council tax for the next year which confirmed that council tax levels in Inverclyde will be frozen for the next year.

At the meeting Councillor McCabe said: “The draft budget settlement for local government announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance on 28 January was, to put it mildly, disappointing. Just because it isn’t as bad as in prior years doesn’t make it a good or fair settlement.

“For revenue the overall cash increase for core services of £94m, or just 0.9%, falls £362m short of what COSLA asked for on behalf of all its representative political groups. The cost to local government of matching the Scottish Government’s pay policy for our workforce will alone cost more than double the £94m currently on the table.

“For Inverclyde the £1.2m, or just 0.75%, increase in non-ring fenced funding has to be measured against £5.3m of inflationary and demographic pressures, including the demands for a fair pay settlement from our workforce who have shown such dedication and commitment during the past 12 months.

“The current grant settlement from the Scottish Government represents another real terms reduction in our funding that will ultimately lead to further cuts in jobs and services in the years ahead.

“On capital the proposed settlement for local government represents a cash freeze, which again is a real terms cut as it takes no account of inflation and the higher tender prices being experienced due to Covid and EU transition. In our case the situation is even worse as we are facing a cash cut too of £65,000 due to our falling population.

“All is not lost however. COSLA is continuing to lobby the Government and opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament for a significantly improved settlement for local government in the final budget due to be approved on 10 March. This week I have also written to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance Kate Forbes to make the case for a better deal for Inverclyde.

“Given that Ms Forbes has delayed her final budget until after the UK budget is announced on 3 March in the hope of receiving additional consequential funding, I have also written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ask for increased funding for Councils across the United Kingdom.”

The council, at its meeting today (18 February 2021) decided to freeze council tax which means Band D Council Tax (used as the measure of council tax) remains at its current level of £1,331.84.

Tax levels listed below do not include Water and Sewerage charges:


Council Tax 2021/22

















The council plans to set its budget for the coming year on Thursday 18 March 2021.