The challenge of making ends meet ...

Councillor Lesley Laird'Fife Council depute leader
Councillor Lesley Laird'Fife Council depute leader

Making sure there’s enough money to make ends meet is a challenge for everyone these days.

Uncertainty about finding work and trying to do more with less money is causing worry for families and communities across Fife as well as local businesses working hard to grow and develop their workforce. It’s a tough climate for everyone, and Fife Council services are no exception.

More people and businesses than ever need Council support, yet there is less money coming in to fund services. That’s why the Council is committed to ensuring that its crucial employability and economic development services are delivered even more efficiently.

“The Council has already had to make choices about how to make smaller budgets go further so vital work like helping people find jobs and supporting business continues,” said Depute Council leader Lesley Laird.

“We’ve reviewed the way the Council delivers services and have made changes to improve the work we do.”

But the councillor warns there’s more to come. She said: “With £77m to be saved we’ve big challenges and tough choices ahead. That’s why tackling unemployment and boosting the local economy is such a priority – getting more people into work benefits not just the individual, but their family and the local economy. It’s not just about saving money, but it is about making the right investment choices for long term benefit.”

The Council recently agreed an extra £2 million will be used to extend the successful Fife Youth Job Contract (FYJC) as well as help others who need support getting a job and Cllr Laird said that building on the results of such projects and giving a greater focus on early intervention and prevention work is “key to long term success”.

Supporting the existing business community and helping new business start, despite the tough financial climate, through Council supported services like Business Gateway Fife is also still important, Cllr Laird continued.

She said: “We’re working hard to put Fife at the forefront of employability and to ensure Fife is the best place to do business.

“But we want to hear the views of local companies and people in our communities on the challenges ahead.

“Next month we will launch our consultation following the publication of the administration’s draft budget.

“This is the third year we have taken our draft Budget out to the people of Fife to get their views. With £77m to save there are tough choices ahead.”