The first meeting of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s newly-established Budget Board took place yesterday (Wednesday 28th June).
The Budget Board was established to oversee the implementation of the Comhairle’s Budget Strategy and has a wide ranging membership with representation from all 9 wards in the Western Isles.
The priorities for the Board are to ensure that the budget process starts early to allow for meaningful engagement and consultation with communities and to ensure a clear linkage between the budget and jointly agreed priorities.
Comhairle Leader, Roddie MacKay, said: “Given the very clear challenges which we face with the current financial climate, it is more important than ever before for us to ensure the best use of resources when delivering services across the spectrum. That is why we are approaching the budget with a focus on jointly agreed priorities, with our communities, businesses and partners all feeding into that process from the very outset. We must ensure that our services are working together and provide a strong rationale as to why funding should be directed to specific service areas, ensuring greater transparency at the core of the budget process.
“We face great challenges, but by working on a joined-up, inclusive approach, we can work towards agreeing what our communities’ priorities are and have these reflected in setting the final budget.”