We plan our spending each year around our priorities and available resources, including setting council tax. We need to make further savings this year and to achieve these savings we 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:
The budget set out how the Administration will close the funding gap to deliver a balanced budget as well as continuing to invest in the region's priorities.
The approved budget saw 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 to 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 also saw 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. 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
Councillors considered the responses as part our the budget setting process. We listened to your ideas and points of view so that we could do the best for the people of our region within the resources available.
3,019 members of the public and staff participated in the consultation and we appreciate people taking the time to share their views. 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.
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