Council budget agreed

Friday 17 February 2017

Inverclyde Council has agreed its budget for 2017/18.

And, councillors have decided not to increase the current level of band ‘D’ council tax.

Speaking at the council budget meeting, Council Leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, said: “Despite the higher than expected like for like grant cut of nearly £5m from the Scottish Government, we have been able to balance the 2017/18 budget without further service reductions over and above those previously agreed. This will be achieved through the use of reserves.

“The council has also decided not to change the band ‘D’ level of council tax. It is worth highlighting though that this does not mean council tax is frozen and the council has taken steps to ensure that residents in bands E-H are aware in advance of the national tax changes which will affect them from April.

“Through prudent financial management we are once again able to make a number of one-off allocations in support of the Council’s policy objectives including investment in town and village centres; employability; anti-poverty fund; additional money for grants to voluntary organisations and funding to promote a new initiative for Inverclyde to become autism friendly community.

“I would like to thank the members of the member’s budget working group for the constructive part they played in developing these proposals. There can’t be many – if any – Councils in Scotland with a more inclusive approach to budget setting.”

Additional investment areas for the council’s 2017 budget include:

Town and Village Centres - £2.5m

Support for the ongoing regeneration of town and village centres with funding reflecting the relative sizes and needs of each centre. Priority projects will be drawn up in consultation with the three town centre regeneration forums and relevant community councils.

Employability - £500,000

To support a range of employability initiatives, including the creation of apprenticeship opportunities, building on the Council's existing successful employability programmes.

Anti-Poverty Fund - £1m

To fund a range of initiatives to support individuals and families living in poverty.

Grants to Voluntary Organisations - £150,000

To support local voluntary groups, supplementing the existing Grants to Voluntary Organisations fund.

Autism friendly community - £150,000

To support a new initiative to make Inverclyde an autism friendly community building on the existing local autism strategy and the good work of local voluntary groups like 'Reach for Autism'.

Capital programme

Inverclyde Council has agreed its latest capital programme for 2017-2020.

The total proposed investment over this period is just over £86m, with £37m to be invested in schools including:

  • £5.0m on the refurbishment of Moorfoot Primary School
  • £3.6m on the refurbishment of Lady Alice Primary School
  • £9.1m on a new St Ninian's Primary School
  • £1.7m on an extension to Gourock Primary School
  • £5.2m on the refurbishment and extension of St Mary's Primary School
  • £1.1m on the refurbishment of Bluebird Family Centre
  • £3.0m on a new early years facility for Greenock's west end
  • £1.0m on providing a new home for Glenbrae Children's Centre
  • £1.0m on the refurbishment of Hillend Children's Centre
  • £0.35m on the upgrade of Larkfield Children's Centre.

The council has also set aside £350,000 to support match funding of a new indoor sports facility. The funding would support a bid to Sports Scotland and the Lawn Tennis Association for a new indoor sports facility suitable for tennis.

Page last updated: 17 February 2017