Published 15 April 2024

Residents are being encouraged to have their say on the Council’s spending for 2025/26 by joining the Budget Conversation, launching today (Monday 15 April).

The Council faces a significant financial challenge and following difficult decisions in March to help close a £17million budget gap, consideration is now being given to how expected funding pressures for the next financial year can be mitigated.

With a predicted £10m shortfall for 2025/26, officers are seeking the views of the public as early as possible to ensure feedback on priorities for spending and saving are reflected in next year’s budget.

Residents can share their views in the 25/26 Budget Conversation in a number of different ways, including online or by collecting a paper copy of the questions from libraries and Council offices.

The Budget Conversation will ask residents to share what they consider to be the most vital services the Council provides, with detail included about how they want to see budgets allocated within specific services like Education, Roads and Housing.

In addition, community groups will be asked to participate in planned focus groups which will explore priorities in more detail.

Council Leader, Councillor Martin Rooney, said: “We understand that residents are still feeling uncertainty around unavoidable Council savings agreed last month and we don’t want to heighten that.

“But the truth of the matter is that due to reduced funding and increased costs, we expect yet another dire financial settlement for West Dunbartonshire in 2025/26.

“That’s why it is vital that we start working on solutions to mitigate the impact of this for our communities right away.

“It’s only possible to do that in an informed and meaningful way by first hearing from our communities about their priorities, needs and wants.

“I’m encouraging everyone to not only participate in the Budget Conversation, but to really think carefully about which of the services currently provided by the Council is most important to them and ensure they reflect this in their answers.  

“We are being realistic about our finite resources but will continue to campaign tirelessly for additional funding from the Scottish Government.”

Councillor Michelle McGinty, Depute Council Leader, added: “It is very important that we start our budget conversation early, so we have a clear idea of what our communities want and 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 could be made. We know that all of our services matter but 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.”

To participate in the Budget Conversation, please visit:

Paper copies of the Budget Conversation are also available to collect at libraries and at the Council’s Church Street offices from today, Monday 15 April.

The Conversation will open for 6 weeks, from Monday 15 April to Monday 27 May inclusive.

For more information on participating in focus groups, which are expected to take place in June, please email: