Midlothian council tax set to rise

Councillor Derek Milligan outside Midlothian House in Dalkeith.
Councillor Derek Milligan outside Midlothian House in Dalkeith.

Midlothian councillors unanimously agreed the budget for the year ahead this week, with a 4.84 per cent increase in council tax, which will see householders in Band D properties pay £1,409 .

Midlothian Council leader Derek Milligan (Lab) said: “Approving our medium term financial strategy, back in June 2019, has been an important step change for us, giving us greater fiscal stability and allowing us to plan ahead.

“That said, we hadn’t anticipated what, according to COSLA, equates to a 17 per cent cut in our Scottish Government grant for capital projects.

“This will mean Midlothian is short £1.8 million next year to fund planned investment in schools, care facilities, roads and sports facilities.

“It leaves the council with hard choices to make to reduce investment to fill the gap caused by the government’s cut.”

Cllr Milligan said the Scottish Government’s budget includes the presumption all local councils across Scotland will increase Council Tax by 4.84 per cent.

“This effectively means in Midlothian, we have no choice but to increase Council Tax by the maximum allowed by Scottish Government to balance our books,” he added.

Looking forward, Cllr Milligan said:“While we’ve secured the required savings for a balanced budget for the year ahead, as the fastest growing local authority in Scotland, we’re facing huge financial challenges which we are addressing through our medium term financial strategy.”