City of Edinburgh Council agrees additional funding for social care
Elected members on the City of Edinburgh Council have agreed options for investing around £21 million in one-off additional funding which will be allocated for social care, net-zero work and road maintenance.
In February, the council set a balanced budget for 2021/22, addressing and shaped by the key priorities of the Council Business Plan – tackling poverty, promoting sustainability and enhancing residents’ wellbeing.
Following confirmation by the Scottish Government of additional funding for local authorities and, after making provision for the anticipated on-going financial impacts of the pandemic over the next two years, council officers identified up to £21m which could be made available to address budget pressures, anticipated shortfalls in savings delivery and other member priorities in 2021/22 and 2022/23.
At yesterday’s meeting of the Full Council, political groups on the council put forward and debated motions outlining their proposals for directing these monies. The motion by the Coalition was carried, meaning the £21m will be invested as below.
Councillor Rob Munn, finance and resources convener, said: “When our council budget was agreed in February, the final local government settlement was not known in full. At the time we set a prudent Budget in the knowledge that we would have other decisions to make following clarification of the final settlement. That final settlement was more than we had anticipated and I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to agree these investments in council today, helping us to meet our commitments and to ensure that we address poverty, well-being and the climate challenge.”
Councillor Joan Griffiths, finance and resources vice convener, added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a very significant impact on local government budgets so it’s very welcome to be able to invest more money now towards our core priorities for Edinburgh. The proposals now approved will give a real boost to our work to achieve our core ambitions for the capital - tackling poverty and inequality, boosting sustainability and enhancing wellbeing for everyone who calls the city home.
“I particularly welcome our decision to invest £250,000 in a fund to support carers after the extremely challenging time they’ve faced during the pandemic, as well as our £600,000 investment in prevention services and community engagement to support residents at risk of poverty.”
The agreed investment options are:
- Roads and Pavements Infrastructure
- Street Cleaning and gritting
- Communal Bins
- Public Conveniences
- Estate Energy Reduction
- Carbon net zero engagement
- EV Infrastructure – £250,000 to expand EV charging infrastructure for the council’s own fleet, ensuring that the council leads by example by making our vehicle fleet carbon zero.
- Up Recycling
- 20-minute neighbourhoods – £500,000 to drive forward the delivery of 20-minute neighbourhoods, making it easier for people to get to and access the services they need in their community.
- Food Growing – £130,000 to be invested, recognising the increase in demand for local food growing opportunities. This is investment to expand provision.
- Looked after Children – recognising the pressures of out of authority placement, the Council will invest £1.5m to improve the service and help ensure vulnerable children are accommodated in authority wherever possible.
- Children & Families Development officers – £124,000 to provide service for disabled children in terms of holiday provision and positive destinations.
- Carers’ Recovery Fund – recognising the extra challenge for carers during the pandemic, the Council will invest £250k in a fund providing additional support to carers
- Edinburgh Summer Festivals
- Books for libraries
- Embedding Prevention and Community Engagement – £600,000 investment to improve delivery of prevention services through empowering frontline staff to co-produce service redesign across departments, reform current practice, and create a preventative service and community engagement model and develop a plan for wider roll out.
- Diversity and inclusion
- Taxi and Licence enforcement
- Edinburgh Integration Joint Board – £2.5m funding to EIJB to address base budget pressures for social care.
- Independent inquiries
- Place fees and charges reduced income
- Home to School Travel Demand
- Development and Business Services Loss of Income
- Early Years Deferral
- All Ability Bike
In addition to these investments, further funding has been set aside to address the following:
- Edinburgh Bike Hire Scheme
- Trams Concessionary travel
- Homelessness – the approved Coalition motion states: “We recognise the pressure on the service in the past year due to Covid and that pressures are expected to exceed the additional £10m allocated in February’s budget. We also recognise that should legislative protections change as restrictions ease, there may be a requirement for even further resources to improve outcomes for temporary homeless accommodation. We will continue to make the case for additional resources equivalent to those allocated to other local authorities for homelessness support from IBJ budgets. Following that process and depending on in-year position due to service demand, we will agree that left over monies can be used to meet the required supply to get the outcomes right for people finding themselves at risk of homelessness.”
- Employability for disabled people - the approved Coalition motion states: “to plug the gap left by the loss of the European Social Fund due to Brexit and the lack of a direct replacement fund from the UK government”