South Ayrshire Council asked members of the public to have their say on the local authority's spending priorities - as councillors prepare to set the area's budget and council tax rates for the next 12 months.

The consultation is now live and will remain open until Sunday, June 30, allowing residents to have their say and provide suggestions on ways the council can increase income, reduce costs and achieve savings over the next three years. 

The consultation comes amid a warning that the authority is expecting it will have to make savings of £29 million over the next three years.

The authority's budget and council tax rates for the 2024-25 financial year will be set on Thursday, February 29.

The local authority receives around 20 per cent of its income from council tax, with a further 78 per cent coming from a block grant from the Scottish Government. 

Around two per cent of reserve funds are also used to support local spending. 

The council is now looking at ways to reduce costs and generate more income, after this year's government grant was not enough to cover current spend and expected rising costs.

Councillor Ian Davis, SAC's portfolio holder for dinance, HR and ICT, said: "Alongside rising costs, the block grant we receive each year from the Scottish Government to fund and deliver our vital public services is continually decreasing, so we need to make substantial savings in the coming years.   

"We expect that we need to save around £29m over the next three years, rising to nearly £46m over five years.

"I'd like to reassure residents that we will prioritise protecting our vital services, but we do need to focus on generating more income.

"This aligns with the feedback from last year's budget consultation, where a larger proportion of people said they would prefer price increases for services rather than service reductions or cuts.  

"In addition to agreeing savings that will impact on 2024-25, as part of the budget this year, we will consider a programme of activities designed to address the savings targets over the next two years. 

"Once the budget is approved on Thursday 29 February, a list of the proposed activities will be published and the consultation will remain open so residents can have their say on the plans that are being developed." 

The consultation is now open at