Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics (SLGFS) 2018-19

Annual publication providing a comprehensive overview of financial activity of Scottish local authorities in 2018-19 based on authorities' audited accounts.

This document is part of a collection

1. Introduction

Local authorities are responsible for delivering a wide range of services, including education, social work, transport, housing, environmental services and cultural services. In Scotland, local government primarily comprises of 32 councils, the boundaries of which are shown in Annex A. There are also: 

  • ten Valuation Joint Boards (VJBs), who provide valuation services to councils. Primarily, VJBs maintain the valuation roll for non-domestic properties and the Council Tax valuation list for domestic dwellings. These are then used as the basis for local taxation billing liability.
  • seven Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs), which were established by the Transport (Scotland) Act 2005 to lead on regional transport strategy and delivery.
  • the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board, which is responsible for the operation, management and maintenance of the Tay Road Bridge. 

Most of these additional boards are the collective responsibility of two or more councils – a list of local authority joint board membership is provided at Annex B. The Tay Road Bridge Joint Board comprises councillors from Dundee City, Fife and Angus, however finance is provided directly from the Scottish Government.

This publication provides a comprehensive overview of the financial activity across the 50 local authorities described above. It covers revenue expenditure and income, including local taxation; capital expenditure and financing; reserves and fixed assets; debt and prudential indicators; and pensions. 

Expenditure and income figures are presented on a funding basis in this publication. This means local authorities have made adjustments to certain accounting transactions that have been charged to services, such as depreciation and pension costs. Local authorities will consider funding basis figures when making financial decisions, such as setting budgets or increases in Council Tax.

Please note, throughout the publication:

  • all years in this publication refer to the relevant financial year, for example 2018-19 refers to activity from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019;
  • all figures are presented in cash terms, this means they have not been adjusted for inflation;
  • negative figures in tables reflect income, however income may also be presented as a positive figure where appropriate.

Under the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, 30 Integration Joint Boards (IJBs) have been established in Scotland. IJBs are responsible for the planning of integrated arrangements and onward service delivery of health and social care for their constituent councils and health boards. This publication only includes expenditure that is recognised in council’s financial data, that is their contribution to the IJB and how any monies allocated back to them have been spent. More information on this is provided in Chapter 2.1.1

Local authorities are also required to undertake community planning in partnership with other agencies responsible for public service delivery in an area, such as Health Boards, and Police and Fire bodies. However, the financial activity of these other agencies is not included in this publication. 

More information on this publication, including associated data available for download, is available at

More information on local government in Scotland is available at



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