Midlothian Council: Fastest growing population figures prompt renewed government funding calls

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Latest census data shows Midlothian still has the fastest growing population

Midlothian councillors have renewed calls for more government funding after census data released in September confirmed Midlothian continues to be the fastest growing population in Scotland.

At the full council meeting today, Tuesday, October 10, councillors agreed to write to the UK and Scottish governments and the umbrella organisation for local authorities, Cosla asking for the 2022 population data to be taken into account when allocating Midlothian’s share of funding.

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The new data published by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) shows that, between 2011 and 2022, the population of the county grew by 16.1 per cent, the fastest in the country and 13.4 per cent higher than the Scottish average of 2.7 per cent.

Midlothian Council leader Councillor Kelly Parry.Midlothian Council leader Councillor Kelly Parry.
Midlothian Council leader Councillor Kelly Parry.

Midlothian also saw the highest percentage increase of households at 17.2 per cent. Councillors heard 18.9 per cent of the overall Midlothian population are over 65 while 17.7 per cent are 14 and under.

Council leader Councillor Kelly Parry, SNP, said: “The population growth is even faster than we predicted. Council tax provides around 23 per cent of the council’s income and while more people moving to Midlothian means more council tax, the extra money doesn’t cover the cost of providing services to these new households – such as for schools, bin collections or social care.

“Meanwhile, the amount of grant settlement that the council gets to pay for core services has been reduced and is likely to be reduced further in future years. And, as the census confirms, this is all happening at the same time as demand for local services is increasing, because of the fast-growing and ageing population.

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“While we realise all budgets are tight, we feel we must continue to work on behalf of our residents by pressing our case for more funding for Midlothian.”

Councillors noted the ongoing analysis of this census data. A further report will be presented to the Community Planning Partnership Board and the full council including further updates following the publication of additional census data in Spring 2024.