Argyll and Bute Council will discuss proposals to finalise its capital budget at a meeting on Thursday 10 March. The council has a total of £87.2 million in funding over the next three years.
The proposals include spending £15.5 million in the next three years on the area’s roads. In the first year £6.9 million would be spent on upgrading and maintaining the network, in the second year £4.8 million and in the third £3.8 million. Included in the 2011-12 amount is the £3 million approved at the council budget meeting on 10 February.
When it comes to school buildings there is £15.8 million to invest. The council will consider improvements like rewiring, window replacement and re-roofing to safeguard the condition of these buildings.
The proposals could also see money allocated to better lighting if approved. £600,000 has been set aside for new LED lighting as it’s more powerful, lasts longer and is lower energy.
Nearly £7 million pounds has been set aside for approval for community facilities and private sector housing. This could see Dunoon, Rothesay and Helensburgh having their swimming pools improved. The money could also see upgrades to the community education centres in Lochgilphead, Bute, Kintyre and Dunoon.
Leader of the council, Councillor Dick Walsh said “we have already made some of the toughest budget decisions in years and are undergoing a number of painful cuts but we must also concentrate on keeping our remaining buildings, schools, roads and libraries in the best possible condition we can for the future. The Capital plan aims to improve the potential of our people, our communities and our area.”
The Capital Plan includes some projects which have already been approved by the council. The CHORD programme will see investment in the waterfronts of Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Oban, Rothesay and Dunoon. The Tayinloan slip will have the breakwater and land bridge fixed so it will be fully compatible with the proposed ferry service to Gigha. In Helensburgh, the council will merge some of its smaller offices and bring staff together in one new building. Another project which has already got the go ahead is the Mull and Iona progressive care facility which will prevent local elderly people being moved to care homes on the mainland. In Dunoon’s John Street there’ll be work to alleviate the flooding at the Milton burn.