Council Budget Set for Year Ahead
Councillors have agreed spending on services for the year ahead as part of a budget setting process which seeks to transform service delivery and stimulate economic recovery.
At a Special Council Meeting (24th March) councillors approved the revenue budget of £131.868 million to spend on services in 2021/2022. A capital budget programme of £255 million was also agreed for the next 20 years.
Earlier this month councillors agreed to freeze council tax which means council tax charges won’t rise in April and will stay the same for a year, with Band D remaining at £1,304.63
Councillors also agreed a net resource transfer for adult social care of £19.875 million to the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.
A one year rent freeze for tenants was agreed last month which means rents won’t rise in April and will stay the same for a year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted the Council to review its ‘Be the Future’ Corporate Plan vision, and streamline priorities to provide a much clearer focus for Council investment and delivery. The 2021/22 budget sustains investment in the areas that are most important for Clackmannanshire as we move to recovery from the pandemic. The budget:
- continues to help our young people develop the skills and confidence to get into positive destinations, maximising the Youth Guarantee and Developing the Young Workforce to ensure that every young person has access to a job, further or higher education, an apprenticeship scheme or other training programme. It also further invests in inclusive skills development through City Region Deal investment
- sustains investment in working with key partners, including MCR Pathways, to ensure that we target support to those that need it most, and who are further away from the job market, developing leadership skills and creating the conditions for systemic change
- invests in adult and family learning programmes, and providing more holistic and sustainable supports which focus on positive and lasting outcomes, further developing local decision making and empowering families and communities through our work with the Hunter Foundation and Columba 1400
- maximises the local impact of the Council’s leadership role and profile within the Forth Valley and West Lothian Regional Improvement Collaborative and positive and effective relationships with Scottish Government to prioritise work to ensure that Clackmannanshire Keeps The Promise to our care experienced community
- invests in additional capacity to embed Community Wealth Building (CWB) in the Council’s culture and processes by investing in CWB workforce development and a CWB procurement officer
- sustains a focus on health and well-being for all ages with a particular focus on targeting mental health supports, including in schools and by further integration of mental health services within the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and through the Young Persons Guarantee
- invests in tackling poverty by mitigating some of the financial impacts of the pandemic by protecting householder incomes in respect of the charges paid for those services over which the Council has influence, such as school meals, in addition to the rent and council tax freezes already agreed.
The capital programme has also recently been reviewed and the £255 million investment will be focused on projects which create inclusive growth, support a wellbeing economy and economic recovery. The budget also seeks to accelerate planned capital investment to further stimulate economic recovery by:
- expediting planned activity in respect of the City Region Deal including the development of Scotland’s International Environment Centre in Alloa and Active Travel investment to further integrate existing networks
- creating a Wellbeing Campus within Alloa as part of a wider strategic review of Clackmannanshire’s Leisure Strategy
- following the completion of a strategic review of the Council’s property assets, investing in priority Learning Estate developments, including development driven need as well as that required to meet demographic need and the development of a blend of learning estate campus and standalone facilities
- implementing key aspects of the agreed Digital Strategy focussed on citizen centric service redesign, tackling digital exclusion and expanding the Council’s digital learning strategy, creating digital hubs in schools and communities, such as the Bowmar Centre and investing in new infrastructure to improve organisational systems such as MS365 and a new social work system.
The budget includes savings of £2.126m, including savings as a result of previously approved transformation projects.