FIFE’s council leader has said he is confident the Kingdom is in a good position to ring the changes needed to meet the challenges ahead following the Scottish Government’s spending review.
Peter Grant, SNP leader of Fife Council, says the news underlines the Christie Commission recommendations published last month that reform is the way forward for local government.
He said: “Scottish local government, along with the rest of the public sector, clearly faces a major financial challenge, but we are prepared in Fife, and we are confident that our preparations are robust.
“We have to do better with less.”
The local authority has already been planning on the basis it will have to find savings of almost £90m by 2015.
“We’ll have to wait and see how the national announcement translates locally into how much Fife will receive,” Cllr Grant told the Press.
“We’ll then look at our figures and see if they need to be adjusted.
“It goes without saying though that there are some tough decisions to be made over the coming months.
“Fife Council made commitments to eight priorities including improving education, making Fife the leading ‘green’ council, providing more access to housing and looking after our most vulnerable people following the last elections.
“I’m proud of our achievements.
“For example this year’s exam results are the best ever for Fife and pupils across Fife are already enjoying state-of-the-art facilities in new school buildings.
“Our recycling performance goes from strength to strength while, in business circles, the area is becoming known for leading in renewable energy.
“We also offered a fantastic programme of events in 2010, celebrating all Fife has to offer and generating £8.2m for the local economy.”
However Cllr Grant warned people have to expect changes to the way some council services are delivered, and some may stop altogether.
He said: “Radical transformation of the way we do things is under way and we are focusing on a number of key areas so that we can continue delivering quality public services.
“Over the next few months, in the local media and on our website, we’ll be exploring how we can continue to deliver our priorities for Fife while re-shaping services to fit the pressing needs and the budgets of the future.
“Our track record speaks for itself in terms of the planning progress we’ve made in Fife over the last few years.
“I want Fifers to rest assured that the choices, and decisions that will be made over the next few months will not be taken lightly and the needs of those using our services will continue to be our top priority.”