Stirling Council agree budget package with 3% council tax increase
Stirling Council has approved a 3% rise in Council Tax as part of a budget package it says will safeguard vital services and invest almost £26 million of capital programme resources in enhancing the area.
Councillors met yesterday to decide the revenue and capital financial plan for the year ahead and committed to investing millions in initiatives to support communities, grow the local economy, and enhance infrastructure including roads.
Councillor Margaret Brisley, convenor of finance and economy, said: “This budget protects vital services, supports our residents and also brings forward the investment Stirling needs to realise our ambitions for our area and ensure our city continues to grow and prosper. These are challenging times and we need to be innovative to ensure we continue to deliver for our communities.”
There was support for residents of all ages with funding set aside for projects to tackle school holiday hunger among young children, invest in apprenticeships, mitigate the impact of Universal Credit and make Stirling a more Dementia-Friendly City.
To continue to realise the City’s ambitions to be an economic power house, there was funding for capital projects including £4.5m for road improvements and modernisation, over £2m for City Deal projects and £1m to improve the area’s digital connectivity.
Communities will be enhanced through the introduction of 20mph zones to make streets safer, with a £1.1m fund established for a flood prevention scheme, and money also set aside to enhance play parks across the City.
A further £5m has been set aside to enhance schools and early years to provide the best possible learning environments for Stirling’s young people.
Over the next five years, a gap of £19.8 million is anticipated between what the Council receives in funding and revenue and the cost of delivering its services and this shortfall has to be addressed through the budget setting.
The recent budget consultation attracted the largest ever response rate and the feedback received helped to inform the decisions taken by Councillors. A commitment was made to generate income for the Council through new and innovative approaches including delivering services for other public sector partners and advertising on Council assets.
Alison Laurie, vice-convenor of finance and economy, added: “We are determined to realise the ambitions and aspirations for Stirling’s urban and rural communities in an inclusive way. Through sound financial planning we have been able to set a budget which safeguards our services and builds for the future.”