The Council must make up this shortfall to balance the budget despite making significant savings of around £6 million in the current financial year.
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.
A new round of drop-in events are currently taking place across the Stirling area following community engagement sessions that took place in August and September.
Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Chris Kane said: “These are all proposals and no decisions have been taken yet.
“To help us make these difficult decisions when we set the Council’s budget, we need to know how these potential savings or increase in charges would impact you.
“These proposals have been developed by every Council service and cover the likes of schools, nurseries, roads, waste, housing, transport, libraries, community centres and parks and greenspaces. They will impact everyone who lives, works and studies in Stirling. So it’s really important that you take part in this survey and tell us your views.”
Residents can learn more about the proposals and the Council’s challenging financial situation at the latest Big Conversation drop-in events, with staff from various services in attendance at each one.
Incredibly tough decisions
Cllr Kane added: “The proposed savings make for stark reading and underline the incredibly tough decisions we will have to make to set a balanced budget.
“We need to face these challenges together and that’s what the Big Conversation is all about – having an open dialogue with everyone in the Stirling area about how we negotiate this unprecedented financial challenge, a situation mirrored at other councils across Scotland.
“Whether it’s the online survey or the drop-in events, I would encourage everyone to get involved in this conversation so we can make informed decisions and continue delivering the services that our residents and communities value the most.”
A selection of the proposed savings or increases in charges are listed below:
- Close or reduce council-managed community centres.
- Stop the annual mowing of rural road verges, reduce grass cutting or increase space for pollinator spaces.
- Closure of some libraries.
- Reduction in budget for events and festivals.
- Removal of the ‘road-end’ waste collection policy.
- Stop the greenspace ranger service.
- Reduce spending on maintenance at buildings and facilities.
- Removal of the community grant scheme.
- Reduce free, confidential and impartial accredited money, debt and benefit advice to residents.
- Change the operating models (opening times and capacity) at some nurseries.
- Increase non statutory childcare fees.
- Reduce or stop the play, creche, play and out of school care service.
- Reduce teachers in the additional support needs outreach team.
- Removal of the P5 swimming programme.
- Reduce the primary school week for pupils.
- Close some or all public toilets.
More details and the full list of proposals can be found in the online survey on the Engage Stirling platform.
See below for dates and times of the remaining round of Big Conversation drop-in events:
- 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.
For more information, please visit stirling.gov.uk/bigconversation
Remember to use the hashtag #BigConversation2425 to provide feedback and ideas on our social media channels.