Under the co-leadership of Andrew Polson, East Dunbartonshire Council agreed a range of measures to deliver the required savings for 2020/21 with a 3.95% increase in Council Tax and with no enforced job losses or service reductions.
Andrew Polson explained, “We faced a further multi-million pound funding gap for 2020/21 having already reduced the Council budget by over £87 million over the past 10 years and by over £14 million last year alone and whilst £495 million new revenue funding has been identified for local government in Scotland, this is against £590 million of new Scottish Government policy commitments so the reality is in fact a £95 million shortfall or 1% reduction in grant."
“Our agreed Council Tax increase of 3.95% was below the maximum 4.84% we could apply and was consistent with the feedback of our budget consultation exercise and balances the impact of a Council Tax increase on household budgets.”
Council Tax accounts for just over 20% of the total Council Revenue Budget and a 3.95% increase will see the level on a Band D property in East Dunbartonshire increase by just over £49 per year to £1,308.98 and raise income for the Council of just over £65.8 million.
In addition to the rise in Council Tax, the savings target has been met through identifying cost reductions of just over £2 million pounds across the Council’s strategic service portfolios and work undertaken on staff turnover modelling, equating to £1 million.
The Council’s revised 10 year Capital Investment Programme and Capital Budget for 2020/21 was also agreed.
"Our capital programme sits hand in hand with our revenue budget and clearly demonstrates our ambition and commitment to improving our assets and facilities across the area. Our Education priorities include our £26.4 million Additional Support Needs School in Waterside, which is making good progress, £30 million for Boclair Academy, which is in the early design stages, and £14.4 million for our new Early Years facilities where construction is well underway."
"Beyond the school estate, the New Allander Leisure and Adult Day Care Centre has a combined budget of £40.9 million and the Capital Programme includes the fantastic £30 million grant for the City Deal project to deliver economic regeneration, public transport and roads infrastructure investment in Bishopbriggs, to be delivered by 2024/25.”
The agreed capital expenditure for 2020/21 totals just over £38 million and also includes:
- Additional year on year funding for pavement improvements totalling £2.5 million
- £0.5 million to refurbish Lenzie Public Hall
- £0.85 million for pitch and pavilion in High Park, Lennoxtown
- £1.64 million for Brookwood Villa and town centre refurbishment in Bearsden