You Pay...Have Your Say - East Lothian Council Budget Consultation

Closed 15 Dec 2014

Opened 19 Nov 2014


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Each year, East Lothian Council sets a budget to pay for the wide range of vital services it provides to the community. In any circumstances, the budget setting process involves difficult decisions, as we try to balance national and local priorities, the needs, wants and aspirations of our residents alongside the limited resources available. We make sure that the budget always balances (i.e. that our proposed spending plans are within our expected income levels) and we spend around £212 million in total each year.

The Council faces a budget challenge which affects how much money we have to invest in our services in the coming years. Over the next 2 years our funding is forecast to remain static, however as the profile of our population is rising, so do demands on council services. The cost of providing many of our services continues to rise, and at the same time all councils are facing especially challenging times as public sector spending continues to be reduced.

A great deal of work has already been done by taking an innovative approach to service delivery and by listening and working with communities saving the council around £17 million since 2012 and a further £5.6 million of planned efficiencies until 2017, mainly by doing things differently and working more efficiently in order to minimise the impact on the services which the public sees. Some of the steps which have already been taken include:

* Implementing a Voluntary Early Release scheme (VERS) in April 2013 generating annual savings of around £3 million. An on-going review to the way in which services are delivered, which is currently forecast to deliver around £2.6 million over the 3 year period from 2014/15 to 2016/17

* Working in partnership with other bodies to generate greater efficiencies. Delivering a BuySmart programme designed to generate savings from the supplies and services which the Council purchases.

* A review of areas designed to generate additional income.

There continues to remain challenges around delivering high quality services to the community within the resources which are available and in accordance with our existing 3 year plans, there is already a need is a need to make efficiencies of at least £5.7 million over the next two years in order for us to balance the budget. However, the likelihood is that this figure will need to increase to match any further inescapable cost increases that the Council faces and a preliminary assessment suggests this could be in the region of a further £20 million over the three year period 2015/16 to 2017/18.

Our 'Spending Choices' document outlines some of the issues that impact on the setting of our budget and includes information on where the Council's money comes from and how it is currently spent. It also contains a number of questions that you may want to consider if you want to respond to this consultation.

You can download a copy of 'Spending Choices' from 'Related Documents' below or you can telephone 01620 827827 to receive a paper copy by post. You can also pick up a paper copy from any of our libraries or local offices.



You can respond to this consultation by:

Completing our online consultation form below OR 

Emailing your views to: OR

Sending your comments by post to: The Head of Council Resources, East Lothian Council, John Muir House, Haddington EH41 3HA.

Please note that the closing date for this consultation is the 15th December 2014.



  • All Areas


  • Community Councils
  • East Lothian Council Tenants
  • Business Community
  • Voluntary / Third Sector
  • Parents and Guardians
  • Local Residents
  • Service Users
  • Tenants and Residents Associations


  • Budgets and spending