Clackmannanshire Council approves £131m budget for 2021/22

Clackmannanshire Council has approved a revenue budget of £131.868 million to spend on services in 2021/2022 as well as a capital budget programme of £255m for the next 20 years.

Earlier this month, councillors agreed to freeze council tax in April and also agreed a net resource transfer for adult social care of £19.875 million to the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.

A one-year rent freeze for tenants was agreed last month which means rents won’t rise in April either.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the council to review its ‘Be the Future’ Corporate Plan vision, and streamline priorities to provide a much clearer focus for council investment and delivery.

The council said that the budget continues to help young people develop the skills and confidence to get into positive destinations, maximising the Youth Guarantee and Developing the Young Workforce to ensure that every young person has access to a job, further or higher education, an apprenticeship scheme or other training programme. It also further invests in inclusive skills development through City Region Deal investment

It added that the budget sustains investment in working with key partners, including MCR Pathways, to ensure that it targets support to those that need it most, and who are further away from the job market, developing leadership skills and creating the conditions for systemic change and invests in adult and family learning programmes, and providing more holistic and sustainable supports which focus on positive and lasting outcomes, further developing local decision making and empowering families and communities through the council’s work with the Hunter Foundation and Columba 1400.

The budget also maximises the local impact of the council’s leadership role and profile within the Forth Valley and West Lothian Regional Improvement Collaborative and positive and effective relationships with the Scottish Government to prioritise work to ensure that Clackmannanshire keeps the promise to its care experienced community.

At the same time, the budget invests in additional capacity to embed Community Wealth Building (CWB) in the council’s culture and processes by investing in CWB workforce development and a CWB procurement officer. 

It also sustains a focus on health and well-being for all ages with a particular focus on targeting mental health supports, including in schools and by further integration of mental health services within the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and through the Young Persons Guarantee, invests in tackling poverty by mitigating some of the financial impacts of the pandemic by protecting householder incomes in respect of the charges paid for those services over which the Council has influence, such as school meals, in addition to the rent and council tax freezes already agreed.

The capital programme has also recently been reviewed and the £255m investment will be focused on projects which create inclusive growth, support a wellbeing economy and economic recovery.

The budget also seeks to accelerate planned capital investment to further stimulate economic recovery by:

  • Expediting planned activity in respect of the City Region Deal including the development of Scotland’s International Environment Centre in Alloa and Active Travel investment to further integrate existing networks
  • Creating a Wellbeing Campus within Alloa as part of a wider strategic review of Clackmannanshire’s Leisure Strategy
  • Following the completion of a strategic review of the council’s property assets, investing in priority Learning Estate developments, including development driven need as well as that required to meet demographic need and the development of a blend of learning estate campus and standalone facilities
  • Implementing key aspects of the agreed Digital Strategy focussed on citizen centric service redesign, tackling digital exclusion and expanding the Council’s digital learning strategy, creating digital hubs in schools and communities, such as the Bowmar Centre and investing in new infrastructure to improve organisational systems such as MS365 and a new social work system.

The budget includes savings of £2.126m, including savings as a result of previously approved transformation projects.

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