6. Background to Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics
Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics is an annual publication that provides a comprehensive overview of Scottish local authority financial activity. The publication covers local authority income, revenue and capital expenditure, outstanding debt, local taxation and local authority pensions. Further information on Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics can be found at:
Structure and Functions of Local Government
Local government is responsible for delivering a wide range of services including education, social services, transport, housing, environmental services, cultural services, planning and development and central services. Further information on local government in Scotland is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/local-government
Local government in Scotland primarily comprises of 32 councils as shown in Map 6.1. In addition to these 32 councils, there are also Valuation Joint Boards, Regional Transport Partnerships and the Tay Bridge Board. Most of these Boards are the collective responsibility of two or more Councils. See Table 6.1 for listings of Boards and constituent councils.
Regional Transport Partnerships ( RTPs) were established by the Transport (Scotland) Act 2005. Seven statutory regional transport partnerships were created across Scotland to lead on regional transport strategy and delivery.
Valuation Joint Boards provide valuation services, primarily maintaining the Valuation Roll for non-domestic properties, and the Council Tax Valuation List for domestic dwellings. The Valuation Roll and Council Tax Valuation Lists are used as the basis for local taxation billing liability (council tax and non-domestic rates).
Since 2003, local authorities have been required to undertake Community Planning in partnership with other agencies (such as health boards, enterprise, police and fire bodies) responsible for public service delivery in an area. More recently, the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 put in place a requirement for NHS Boards and local authorities to work together to deliver integrated health and social care services through Health and Social Care Partnerships.
Police and Fire Services
Police and Fire Boards were until 31st March 2013 responsible for providing police and fire services for their constituent Councils. The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 created Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, which replaced the former Police and Fire Boards. These new bodies are classified as central government, so are no longer included in figures on local government from 2013-14 onwards. Due to the way that Police and Fire Boards were funded, it is not possible to exclude Police and Fire income from a number of analyses. As such, figures from 2013-14 and later are not strictly comparable with figures from earlier years.
Table 6.1 – Local Authority Joint Board Membership
|Council||Regional Transport Partnerships||Valuation Joint Boards|
|Argyll & Bute 1||SPT/ HITRANS||Dunbartonshire & Argyll& Bute|
|Dumfries & Galloway||SWESTRANS||Dumfries & Galloway|
|East Dunbartonshire||SPT||Dunbartonshire & Argyll& Bute|
|Edinburgh, City of||SESTRAN||Lothian|
|Eilean Siar||HITRANS||Highland and Western Isles|
|Highland||HITRANS||Highland and Western Isles|
|Orkney Islands||HITRANS||Orkney & Shetland|
|Perth & Kinross||TACTRAN||Tayside|
|Shetland Islands||ZetTrans||Orkney & Shetland|
|West Dunbartonshire||SPT||Dunbartonshire & Argyll& Bute|
1. Helensburgh and Lomond are part of SPT while the rest of Argyll & Bute is part of HITRANS.
Map 6.1 – Local Authority Areas