Big Conversation

Stirling Council's Big Conversation

Big Conversation survey

Thank you to all of those who took part in the budget survey. This online survey is now closed.

What is ‘The Big Conversation’

Stirling Council, like other Scottish local authorities, is facing an unprecedented financial challenge.

The majority of Scottish councils’ funding comes from the Scottish Government. In Stirling Council nearly 79% of the budget comes from a Scottish Government grant and our share of the Government’s non-domestic rates or business rates, with the rest raised from council tax to support the budget.

We need to make an estimated £13m of savings in 24/25, and a further £5m of savings in 25/26, in order for the Council to balance the budget.

This is in addition to the £40m in savings the Council has already achieved since 2014, and around £6m of savings made during the current financial year 23/24.

We are also continuing to redesign how we deliver our services, reducing cost whilst ensuring services are accessible to those who need them. We need your ideas on how we can tackle some of the key issues that affect us all, including:

  • How do we continue to protect our most vulnerable?
  • How do we reduce costs and increase income?
  • How do we reduce demand for services?
  • How do we reshape the Council to focus on modern demands?
  • What is important to your area?

That’s why we’re launching our Big Conversation for 2024-25.

This will be an open, honest and ongoing dialogue to ensure that we can all play our part in helping us improve the lives of everyone in Stirling, reduce inequalities and deliver thriving, sustainable communities.

Getting involved

The next round of public drop-in events for Stirling Council’s Big Conversation with residents and communities is now taking place.

Through the ‘Big Conversation’, the views and priorities of residents are shaping how the Council addresses a budget shortfall of around £13 million next year (2024-25).  

The Council must bridge this gap to balance the budget despite making significant savings of approximately £6 million in the current financial year. 

The events will be an opportunity to find out more about our challenging financial situation and to speak to staff from various services about the wide-ranging work they do in your community, such as educating children and young people, collecting and recycling household waste, maintaining and improving the road network, running libraries and addressing housing needs. 

They will also provide a chance to discuss budget saving proposals being developed with each service and to give your views on matters such as Council Tax rates. 

The events follow community engagement sessions held in August and September where residents learned more about the Council’s financial challenges and shared their views and ideas on service delivery and income generation.

The next round of drop-in events will take place at secondary schools and community centres in November. See below for dates and times of these events.

Remember to use the hashtag #BigConversation2425 to provide feedback and ideas on our social media channels.

If you have attended any of the Big Conversation events and wish to comment you can use our online feedback form below.

Online form for your comments

If you attended an in person event and would like to leave feedback about it you can use the form below.

Drop in sessions

  • McLaren High School - Monday 6 November, 6pm to 7:30pm
  • Hillpark Community Centre - Wednesday 8 November, 6pm to 7:30pm
  • Stirling High School - Monday 13 November, 6pm to 7:30pm
  • Balfron High School - Wednesday 15 November, 6pm to 7:30pm
  • Wallace High School - Monday 20 November, 6pm to 7:30pm
  • Bannockburn High School - Wednesday 22 November, 6pm to 7:30pm
  • Dunblane High School - Monday 27 November, 6pm to 7:30pm

Where the money comes from

Where the money comes from 2023/24 £ (millions) % (percentage)
Scottish government grant and non domestic rates 203.5 69.0
Council Tax 59.1 20.0
Council Housing Rents 23.3 7.9
Use of Council Reserves 9.1 3.1
Total 295.0 100.0


Where the money is spent


Reference Where the money is spent 2023/24 £ (millions) % (percentage)
1 Educating our children and young people 128.4 43.5
2 Caring for adults 50.4 17.1
3 Council housing and homelessness 25.6 8.7
4 Maintaining roads and protecting the environment 12.0 4.1
5 Caring for our children and young people 11.8 4.0
6 Collecting and recycling waste 10.3 3.5
7 Libraries, supporting residents and communities 7.7 2.6
8 Economy, tourism, planning, sustainability and climate change 4.8 1.6
9 Environmental health 2.3 0.8
  Front-line Service Budgets totals 253.3 85.9
10 Maintaining office accommodation and public buildings 13.0 4.4
11 Professional support services - finance, legal, HR, audit, exec office 9.2 3.1
12 Digital, transformation, business planning and support 20.8 7.0
13 Organisational development, transformation and business planning 3.6 1.2
14 Corporate financing budgets 7.9 2.7
  Total Council Budget For Running Costs 295.0 100.0
Reference Where the money is spent 2023/24 £(millions)
1 Secondary School Education and Youth Services 41.310
1 Primary School Education 36.131
1 Additional Support Needs and Wellbeing (Education) 13.527
1 Early Years Education and Early Intervention 10.286
1 Balfron PFI and Stirling Schools PPP 19.380
1 Facilities Management 7.779
2 Health and Social Care For Adults 50.394
3 HRA Housing  23.276
3 General Fund Housing 2.317
4 Roads 7.404
4 Land 4.293
4 Fleet 0.205
4 Car Parking 0.161
5 Children and Families 11.795
6 Waste Collection and Disposal 10.259
7 Regeneration and Inclusive Growth 4.542
7 Community Wellbeing 3.160
8 Economic Development 1.013
8 Culture, Events and Tourism 0.755
8 Planning and Building Standards 0.603
8 Sustainable Transport 1.676
8 Climate Change and Sustainability 0.531
8 City Region Deal Delivery 0.247
9 Regulatory Services 2.263
10 Infrastructure Delivery 12.976
11 Professional support services - finance, legal, HR, audit, exec office 9.189
12 Digital and information technology services 8.003
13 Organisational development, transformation and business planning 3.610
14 Corporate financing budgets 7.931
  Total Council Budget For Running Costs 295.016
Reference Business Support Services Breakdown £ (millions)
11 Finance Services 4.109
11 HR 1.117
11 Governance (Audit, Legal, Democratic) 2.831
11 Chief Executive Office 0.405
11 Executive Office and Communications 0.466
11 Communities and Performance Management 0.176
11 Customer Services and Performance Management 0.085
12 Digital, Technology and Customer Service 8.003
13 OD and Change 1.643
13 Transformation 1.092
13 Business Planning and Performance 0.875
  Total 20.802
Reference Corporate Financing Budgets £ (millions)
14 Loan Charges 7.029
14 Service Concession - Schools PFI/PPP Accounting Adj -1.200
14 Scottish Government Capital Switch for 2023/24 Pay -2.073
14 Income from Investment Properties -0.725
14 Pension Fund Added Years Payments 2.065
14 NDR - Discretionary/Empty Property Relief 1.809
14 Valuation Joint Board Requisitions 1.026
  Total 7.931

Big Conversation - how we will handle your data