Frontline services for Edinburgh’s vulnerable, older and younger residents will be prioritised in the City of Edinburgh Council’s 2016/17 budget, which was set today.
Spending on schools, health and social care provision in addition to improvements to roads, pavements and cycle routes will also continue to be areas of focus for future investment.
By focusing on these priorities the Council aims to retain the services that matter the most to people by delivering them more efficiently and effectively.
Councillor Alasdair Rankin, Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee, said: “Like other local authorities around the country, we face the challenge of a rising demand for services while funding is reducing.
“That’s why we will focus on the services that matter the most to the public. I am confident that we have taken the needs of Edinburgh’s residents into account when setting this year’s budget and am delighted that more than 4000 people took the time to have their say on our draft budget proposals.”
Councillor Bill Cook, Vice-Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee, said: “Thanks to the feedback gained during the budget engagement process we have been able to make decisions such as maintaining the full in-house home care service and retaining lunch time crossing patrols at primary schools.”
Based on responses received during an 11-week consultation period, changes were made to the final budget reflecting the public’s needs.
- Maintaining the Council’s night noise team
- Deciding against proposals to redesign day care services for adults with learning disabilities
- Removing the proposal to reduce community centre staff
- Maintaining lunch time school crossing patrols
- Amending the proposal to review support staff in special schools
Despite a challenging financial climate, including a significant reduction in Government funding, the Council has been able to deliver a balanced budget for 2016/17 and set out proposals for the following three years. It is also the intention of the Capital Coalition to establish a mid-term review of all aspects of the Council’s finances which will ensure more rigorous monitoring and speedy decision-making.
This year the Council has a budget of £950m and will continue to deliver frontline services while making savings of £85.4m. This will be achieved by focusing on areas like workforce transformation, reductions in fleet and property rationalisation.
The council tax band levels for Edinburgh in 2016/17 will be: