Falkirk Council told to work together

Falkirk Council has been told improvements are needed
Falkirk Council has been told improvements are needed

Public spending watchdogs have told Falkirk Council to work together to deliver the same or better standard of service for less money.

A report from the Accounts Commission warns more effective political and managerial leadership is needed to respond urgently to the significant gap between the council’s identified savings and its current “unsustainable” level of spending.

The council must save £46 million over the next three years.

Audit Scotland scrutinised its performance over two months at the end of last year, interviewing senior officers and councillors, and sitting in on a range of council and committee meetings.

The conclusions are a “wake up call” for everybody on the town hall payroll.

Douglas Sinclair, chairman of the Accounts Commission, said: “Falkirk Council needs to do a great deal to provide assurance that it can deal with the financial challenges ahead.

“It must commit to a more ambitious financial plan that clearly sets out its priorities on how spending reductions will impact on services and the people who use them.

“There needs to be better leadership and councillors must fully engage with the new scrutiny arrangements which will be essential when difficult decisions inevitably need to be made.”

Falkirk Council’s leader, Councillor Craig Martin, has urged all elected members to get together to tackle the concerns raised by the Accounts Commission.