Council finalises Budget for 2014/15 onwards

Stirling Council agrees budget and five-year business plan

Thursday 20th February, 2014

Stirling Council has agreed its first budget and five-year business plan under the Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) process.  The budget outlines revenue spending of around £200M per year over the next five years and capital investment of over £50M over the same period.

New approach to budget-setting

This is the first time that Stirling Council has undertaken the PBB approach to business planning. PBB is a transparent method of financial decision-making that outlines all costs and proposed savings for the next five years. It also helps to clearly identify where services may need to be reduced or can no longer be delivered.  Decisions taken at the Council meeting cover the next five years, allowing the Council to plan for any changes to its services in an organised way, over a longer period of time.   As part of the PBB process, senior council officers submitted investment and savings options and discussed these with employees, residents and key stakeholders from the public, private, community and voluntary sector.

PBB budget headlines

Key points from the five-year revenue budget include:
A council house rent rise of 1.8%
A programme of investment in new affordable homes and improvements to our existing stock
Investing in advice services to help people affected by welfare reform
A redesign of social work for children, adults and the elderly
Additional funding of £100,000 in youth employment opportunities
Additional funding of £100,000 to expand early years services
Waste and recycling improvements
No council tax increase in 2014/15.

Key points from the five-year provisional capital programme include investment in:
Roads improvements
Energy efficient street lighting
Early years facilities and nursery provision
Flood protection schemes in Aberfoyle, Callander, Bridge of Allan and beyond
A new school and existing school refurbishment
A regional hub for sport
Super-fast broadband for the Stirling area
An international heritage project and events venue.

Service options commented on at the public engagement meetings and included in the budget are:
A variety of options based on an alternative service delivery model for providing services, or for sharing service provision with another public sector body
A number of options to redesign service provision within Social Services
A review of grant support to external and third sector bodies
An improvement in street lighting energy efficiency through capital investment
A revised option to reduce funding for Allsorts out of school care, based on a phased funding reduction over four years rather than one year
A revised option for re-negotiating the service for supporting primary school swimming rather than withdrawing the service
A revised library review proposal, based on a lower reduction in budget provision
An option to investigate alternative, more cost effective community transport solutions.

The following options that had been proposed but were rejected as part of the budget decision are:
Withdrawal of visiting specialists in music and PE to primary schools
Reduction of grey and brown bin collection to four-weekly
Stopping treatment of invasive species
Closure of Fintry Nursery
Closure of public conveniences
Review and reduction of respite provision – adult / all care groups.



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