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Glasgow City Council

Chief Executive - latest update

1 February 2023

I know each and every one of you will be acutely aware that we are fast approaching our annual budget-setting - and how difficult a process that is going to be.

Last month, I shared with you the latest updates in our budget forecasting - and explained why they remained a serious challenge.

In short, the way the Scottish Government's budget was structured means that we cannot include Social Work in our considerations - either to seek savings, or to meet financial pressures.

The council has been told what its contribution to the Health and Social Care Partnership will be and balancing care budgets after that will be a question for the Integrated Joint Board.

You may be aware that this picture has become further complicated by the Scottish Government's announcement that it will require councils to ring fence large elements of the education budget.

We don't yet know what this will look like, or what penalties will be in place for councils that are unable to comply - but what is clear is that our savings, substantial as they are, are expected to be found from an ever-decreasing proportion of our overall budget.

I don't want anyone to be under any impression this will be easy. But please be assured that we will do everything we can to protect the statutory services that communities rely on.  

February also marks the formal anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine - although, in truth, the country had been under attack from its neighbour for many years.

The resulting war, on Europe's eastern edge, has had a profound effect on our daily lives.

It has exacerbated the cost of living crisis - driving high energy and food prices. It has also forced millions of Ukrainians to flee their homes in search of safety elsewhere in Europe and beyond.

Glasgow has decades of experience in supporting displaced people and has provided a warm welcome to hundreds of Ukrainians - some of who are now beginning the next stage of their journey as they are matched to hosts and homes across Scotland.

Colleagues from across the council have been vital in making this work in very difficult circumstances and I hope we can all keep in mind these families and what they have lost.

Time to Talk Day

Across the council, it has never been so important as it is now to reach out and support each another.

Every very small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference and Time to Talk Day, which falls tomorrow [Thursday, 2 Feb], gives us a chance to put this into practice.

Lots of resources are available, whether it is to address something that has been troubling you or to help you lend some support to a colleague - and your manager will have shared more information over the last week.

But, as a first step, I would encourage everyone to just make the time to connect with a colleague over a cup of tea. It can make a world of difference.

You can find out more here:

Get involved this month with... - Glasgow City Council

Budget updates - Glasgow City Council

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