Councillors met to decide the revenue and capital plan for the financial year ahead and committed to fresh spending on rural transport, school holiday meal provision, Universal Credit mitigation, tackling gender based violence, regeneration, and assisting credit unions, among other projects.
Residents were at the heart of the budget planning via the Council’s Big Conversation, which saw more than 1,000 ideas received from both Council staff and the public, along with the staging of over 70 community events and a string of public sessions.
Those ideas helped shape the proposals backed today, which include:
- Generating income from utilising capacity in Brucefield Children’s Home
- The removal of the 10% Council Tax discount on Second Homes
- A net increase in the contribution to the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership
- A review of car parking charges and the introduction of parking charges at Castleview Park and Ride
- A one-off £100k reduction in Stirling Business Investment Fund, to be added back over 3 years.
The approval of today’s budget, backed also by a Council Tax Rise of four per cent, will bring further investment across capital projects.
- £4.6m for road improvements and modernisation
- more than £300,000 to enhance parks and play areas
- £1m for major flood prevention schemes
- over £5.5 million for enhancing schools and the expansion of Early Learning and Childcare
- £600,000 for projects as part of the City Region Deal
Over the next five years, a gap of £32million is anticipated between what the Council receives in funding and revenue and the cost of delivering its services and this will be addressed through future budget setting.
Cllr Margaret Brisley, Convenor of Stirling Council’s Finance and Economy Committee, said she was proud of the budget passed today, but also highlighted the need for future savings to be made.
Cllr Brisley said: “Today’s budget is one that reflects both the financial environment we have to operate in, but also our continued pledge to the people of Stirling.
“Our thanks go to our citizens and staff who have helped inform this process and I am proud we have all produced a budget that brings forth both savings and investments that protect our vital services and reflect the desire of the people who live here.”
Cllr Alison Laurie, vice convenor of the committee and seconder of today’s motion, added: “I want to thank the officers for their work with this.
“Setting the budget in such challenging financial times is not a simple task, so we have approached this year’s finances with caution and restraint as there are extremely difficult decisions to be made again on the horizon.
“However, the growth we’ve approved today provides support for our most vulnerable communities while also providing the investment needed to ensure Stirling continues to grow its reputation as destination for events and tourism across Scotland and the UK."
You can access today's budget papers here via the Special Council section.
For more information on this year's budget and previous budget settings, please visit my.stirling.gov.uk/budget