We plan our spending each year around our priorities and available resources, including setting council tax. We need to save £20 million this year and to achieve this we'll need to prioritise, reshape, reduce and listen to you.
The council budget for 2017/18 was approved at a meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Council on Tuesday 28 February:
Council Leader, Ronnie Nicholson, said that the budget clearly set out how the Administration will close the £16m funding gap to deliver a balanced budget as well as continuing to invest in the region's priorities.
The approved budget sees a £2m increase in spending in our road infrastructure, plans to invest nearly £9m towards two new flood protection schemes in Langholm and Newton Stewart, £500,000 will be invested in an inclusive play fund which will deliver fully accessible play parks across the region and over £2.5m of new anti-poverty initiatives including breakfast clubs and a 'Links to Work' programme will help support more people back into work in some of our most deprived areas.
The approved budget will also see a rise in council tax of 3% with the stipulation that the extra income will be ring-fenced for education. The rise still means council tax in Dumfries and Galloway is the lowest in mainland Scotland.
Your opinions counted
We invited you to help us consider what further budget savings and/or service reductions to make. We listen to your ideas and points of view so that we can do the best for the people of our region within the resources available.
Our consultation for the 2017/18 budget focused on what things we could stop doing, where we can increase charges and council tax. We need to:
- concentrate on those areas where the need is greatest
- reduce and manage the growing demand for some services
- focus on prevention and early intervention - taking action as soon as possible to tackle social problems before they become more difficult to turn around
- deliver services in new ways, perhaps with greater community involvement
- identify those services which we should stop providing
- focus on results for our people and our communities
3,019 members of the public and staff participated in the consultation and we appreciate people taking the time to share their views. Councillors considered the responses at the Policy and Resources Committee meeting on Tuesday 22 November.
70% of those who took part said that they agreed that council tax should be increased and the Administration agreed with the public on this.
Email email@example.com or call 030 33 33 3000 if you need any further information.