Roads, schools, bins, public toilets and the local economy – all benefit from investment in the budget set today by Argyll and Bute Council for 2022/23.
Council Leader, Councillor Robin Currie said: “We listen to our communities. This budget invests in what people tell us matters most to them.
“We are increasing investment in our road network again. We are investing in services that support responsible tourism, such as litter bins and public toilets. We are supporting local businesses by investing in the staycation economy, and encouraging ‘shopping local’ with free Christmas parking. We are dedicating one of our biggest, single investments to our schools and wider learning estate; and we are investing in action to tackle climate change.”
These investments support services that matter to local communities now, within a budget that looks ahead to meeting future financial challenges.”
This overall £5.4 million investment will be split across four key themes:
- Keeping Argyll and Bute Connected: £3.153 million to increase investment in roads reconstruction to £8 million in 2022/23, and develop active travel improvements
- Investing in our places: £0.537 million for street lighting, more litter bins, keeping public toilets open all year round, free parking at Christmas, and developing staycation benefits.
- Safeguarding our future: another £1 million in schools and the wider learning estate strategy, and £0.5 million in climate change initiatives
- Supporting growth in partnership: £0.165 million for tourism, culture and youth development initiatives.
The majority of the Council’s budget continues to go to supporting young people and caring for vulnerable residents, through education services and the Health and Social Care Partnership.
The Council had to bridge a funding gap of £2.2 million in 2022/23, with estimated gaps of up to £30 million+ in the three years after that. Today’s decision to increase council tax by 3% took account of support available to reduce the impact on families: a Scottish Government £150 rebate for Bands A-D and Whole Family Wellbeing Fund for people most in need.
The Council will represent to the Scottish Government the challenging circumstances it faces in relation to capital infrastructure needs, and call for commensurate capital funding to help meet significant pressures.
Depute Leader, Councillor Gary Mulvaney said:“With nearly £60 million of savings made over the past ten years, and estimates of another £30 million to come, there are demands on councils that are increasingly beyond the means of councils.