“We’re making vital and significant investment in Argyll and Bute in the face of challenge – we want to see Argyll and Bute thrive.”
Argyll and Bute Council Leader, Councillor Aileen Morton, confirmed a cash boost of almost £15m in roads, along with investment in social care and customer services, for the 2018/19 budget unanimously agreed today, 22nd February.
Councillors also agreed decisions that will bridge its £5 million funding gap in 2018/19 as well as building in protection for vital services against funding cuts in future years.
The Council will:
Invest an additional £8.3million in the road network over the next two years, bringing total investment to almost £15million, and a further £0.5million in footpaths;
Invest £0.767million in the ICT system on which enables the public to use council services on which they depend, and
Increase funding for social care services by £1.5million
The council will also continue to prioritise economic growth, with securing a Rural Growth Deal for the area confirmed as ‘an absolute target’.
“We need to come together to identify a growth deal that meets the aspirations of local communities and businesses and contributes to the council’s strategic aims,” said Councillor Morton.
“I look forward to working with fellow councillors, partner agencies, our communities and local businesses to make this a reality in 2018.”
“We want to do our best for the communities we represent; we want to create a bright future; we want to see Argyll and Bute shine.”
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Depute Leader of the Council, added: “As well as investing in the future, we’re clear that we need to reshape what we do. This means looking very closely at every aspect of our business – in a clear, focused and new way.
“An example of this is the One Council Property initiative agreed today. We will be proactively managing our 1,700 buildings and parcels of land, which will be better for the council and for local communities.
“This is strategic, corporate and consistent – the kind of efficient and sensible approach our communities want to see us taking.
“This budget is the responsible choice for Argyll and Bute.
Notes to Editors:
Council tax Band D will increase from £1,213 to £1,249
Key steps in balancing the council budget against the investments agreed are:
Increasing council tax by 3%, as assumed by the Scottish Government in its funding settlement for councils
Taking 24 savings options across a range of services (add link to saving options outcomes)
Applying inflationary or investment based increases to fees and charges
options table + graph showing the HSCP percentage increase
The Council rejected eight out of 32 savings options, fully or in part, to protect services that communities said matter to them based on budget consultation feedback.
Funding will be maintained for:
A Road Safety Team to train children and young people in keeping road-safe
Education improvement and support, with future support needs to be considered in 2018
Public health and food safety services through the Environmental Health Team
Five savings options are taken only in part:
Parking charges will be matched to local circumstances rather than a one-size-fits-all approach
Public toilets will remain open; alternatives for reducing their cost will be sought in 2018
Roads and Amenity services will combine; two fixed-term posts will be created to improve customer care
Community transport grants will continue to be available
Funding and additional support for advice services will continue in 2018/19, with a full review to be reported to committee in May
More information on savings options is available at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/planningourfuture2018
For further information telephone 01546 604 171, or email email@example.com