RESIDENTS across West Dunbartonshire are being invited to have their say on the council’s spending for next year.

The announcement comes as West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) works to plug a £11.8m budget gap.

The local authority is urging people to give feedback on priorities for spending and saving across the area.

Councillor Martin Rooney, leader of WDC, said: “On the back of one of our biggest ever financial challenges in 2022/23, we are now facing the prospect of finding a further almost £12 million for 2023/24 to ensure the services our residents rely on can continue as they currently are.

“Local authorities throughout Scotland are struggling to keep up with the demand for their services and nobody wants to make cuts - that is why we have and will continue to campaign tirelessly for additional funding from the Scottish Government.

“This conversation is important for two reasons because it will allow us to find out what matters most to the people who live in our communities, and I also hope it will help everyone see that with finite resources, there are difficult choices that are ahead of us.  

“The feedback we receive through this engagement will guide and inform the decisions we have to make during budget setting time next December and March, and I would encourage all residents to consider what their priorities are and share them with us.”

An online discussion regarding the council’s budget for 2023/24 launched today and will be open for six weeks closing on September 29.

To participate in the survey click HERE.

Residents can also share their views by collecting a paper copy of the questions from libraries and the council’s Church Street offices.

The discussion involves people being asked to share what they feel are the most vital services that the council provides and to detail how they want to see budgets allocated within specific services like education, roads, and housing.

Councillor Michelle McGinty, depute council leader, added: “The simple truth is that in order to expand, and in many cases simply maintain spending on one service, we will require reduced spending on another.

“That is why it is important that we start a conversation early, so we have a clear idea of what our communities need most from us.

“We all use council services on a daily basis so we all have an opinion on what is working, how budgets should be divided, and how savings can be made.

“We know that all of our services matter and that services including education or waste are important to the majority of residents.

"This conversation will dig deeper by asking residents to clearly identify which aspects of those services they think should be made a priority.

“It goes without saying that we will continue to appeal for fairer funding from the Scottish Government, but we must take immediate action to address the funding gap for next year.”