Budget special 1
Council commits to communities and agrees ‘modest’ council tax increase
The SNP group and Independent Bailie Denis Agnew who voted for their budget.
March 7, 2018 – More than £10 million is being invested to upgrade roads and £1.56 million committed to safeguard social care services as part of West Dunbartonshire Council’s 2018/19 budget.
The plan for the new financial year will also see a £1m fund created to support apprenticeships and create routes into employment over the next four years and £100,000 set aside to reduce the poverty-related attainment gap.
The £10.6m roads investment package approved as part of the budget will upgrade carriageway surfaces and also improve the structures of Balloch Bridge.
The financial plan also introduces a modest 3% rise in Council Tax, as supported by residents who took part in the budget consultation.
A further £4m has been earmarked through the creation of a Heritage Capital Fund to improve Clydebank Town Hall, renovate Bruce Street Baths and reinvigorate other important Council assets across West Dunbartonshire.
There was also a commitment to widen access to Council meetings by recording proceedings and making the audio available to all online via the Council website.
Biodiversity sites will be extended and enhanced with the planting of wildflower seeds to create habitats for insects such as bees, there will be a drive to empower residents by supporting them to take control of community assets; and a plan to test an environmentally sustainable road surfacing material containing a recycled plastic element.
The budget will maintain funding for essential services, with decisions on savings informed by one of the biggest consultations ever held by the Council, with over 2700 people taking part. Councillor Ian Dickson (pictured right), Convener of Corporate Services, said: “This is a budget which protects our most vulnerable residents, safeguards our frontline services and delivers the investment our communities need. The feedback we received during the consultation has shaped our budget and our plans for the future. We’re investing in infrastructure, growing our economy, creating employment opportunities and supporting our residents who need help most. We are determined to deliver a fairer future for everyone in West Dunbartonshire even in the face of a difficult financial climate and I believe that this budget gives us a great platform to do exactly that.”