Nearly a quarter of Scottish councils fear they will be unable to balance their budget next year, new research shows.

The majority (97%) of respondents to a survey by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) Scotland also said they would be increasing fees and charges.

The first LGIU State of Local Government Finance in Scotland report, which received responses from around 75% of councils, also found that nine in 10 authorities planned to use their reserves to balance their budgets for 2024-25.

Adult social care and children’s services were considered the greatest shortest-term pressures on council finances, with adult social care also ‘by far’ the greatest long-term pressure.

LGIU chief executive Jonathan Carr-West said: ‘With nearly a quarter of councils warning they may be unable to fulfil their statutory duties, it is only a matter of time before we see the first council in Scotland declare effective bankruptcy.

‘Councils have little to no confidence in local government finance and the issues behind the crisis are not going away.

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