Falkirk Council increases council tax by nearly 5%
Falkirk Council has set its budget for 2020/21, agreeing on a 4.84% increase in Council Tax for the year which will see an average ‘Band D’ Council Tax figure increase by £56.58 a year.
The council has highlighted that despite the increase, council tax in the area remains one of the lowest in mainland Scotland.
A total of 1.84% of the increase in Council Tax will be ringfenced to allow the council to fund a number of specific projects totalling £24 million including:
- CCTV – Analogue to Digital (£980k)
- Connected Falkirk – digital learning for children and young people (£9.6m)
- Roads maintenance (£7m)
- Participatory budgeting (£3m)
- The council’s revenue budget was also set on 26 February and will see around £355m spent in communities across the area over the next year.
A total of £68.9m was allocated to the Integration Joint Board (a partnership with NHS Forth Valley) to deliver adult social care and health services across the area and Falkirk Community Trust received £10.9m to provide sport, recreation, arts, heritage and library services.
Specific areas where spending will take place include:
- Children’s Services (including schools, nurseries, criminal justice and community learning) will receive just over £206m
- Development Services (roads, street lighting, economic development, planning, waste and environmental protection will receive £27.3m
- Corporate and Housing (including support and democratic services, finance and HR services and council housing will receive £27.5m
- Social Work Adults Services (property & fleet transport and mental health services will receive £3.7m)
Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council, said: “Ultimately the budget is not easy to deliver given all the competing demands for our resources. However, this year’s budget will continue to deliver services to those who need them most. Large scale investment is being made across all our services most notably extending six of our schools and the early year’s expansion with just over £7m committed for 2020/21.”
As part of its budget, investment programmes across the Falkirk Council area were also agreed to run over the next five years helping to fund major projects and work to improve the area. In total £265m will be committed to a number of projects:
- An extension to Maddiston primary school (£2.5m)
- Early years expansion (£4m)
- Energy efficient street lighting (£2.87m)
- Playpark upgrades (£336k)
The capital budget for the new HQ/Arts Centre was retained at £45m & delivery options are to be provided to meet this budget.
On 22nd January, the council agreed its housing budget with £316m committed over the next five years for improvements to existing homes and provision of new additional homes.