Highland Council has come under serious criticism from Audit Scotland for its poor service performance and financial sustainability.
The Best Value Assurance report by Audit Scotland for the Accounts Commission said it was ‘disappointed’ at progress made by the Highland Council since the previous audit in 2010.
Education in particular was singled out for poor service performance.
With up to £77m savings to be found over the next two years, Audit Scotland made it clear that difficult decisions lie ahead for the local authority.
Following the publication of the report, Edward Mountain MSP said:
“I know that Highland Conservative Councillors have worked hard in suggesting improvements for the budgeting process but they have been rebuffed by the administration because they wish to follow established procedures. It is clear that these are not working and we need more stringent financial controls.
I am disappointed that some of the Conservative Group’s innovative suggestions to improve the financial position have not been considered fully by the current administration.
If Highland Council is going to address the financial problem properly they need to talk with everyone and they also need to scrutinise budgets throughout the year, not just at the end of the year.”