Council sets Budget and Council Tax for 2022/23
Dumfries and Galloway Council has agreed its budget and set the associated council tax level for financial year 2022/23.
The Council agreed to limit the increase in Council Tax to three per cent.
Under the Local Government [Scotland] Act 1973 and the Local Government Finance Act 1992, a local authority must set its council tax before 11 March in the preceding financial year. A council is required to set council tax based on an overall balanced budget for the financial year.
Council Leader Elaine Murray said: "Working together with communities and strategic partners, Dumfries and Galloway Council has been at the forefront of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Our region has faced many challenges over the past two years and the focus has now shifted towards recovery. New challenges are being faced by residents and communities across our region and the cost-of-living crisis means more families are having to choose between heating and eating.
"Given the pressures on household incomes we have taken the decision to limit the rise in council tax for 2022/23 to three per cent. Our budget, which was agreed unanimously, addresses the challenging times being faced by local residents and builds on our agreed local priorities.
"Following the Local Government Finance Settlement, our Council was faced with an £8.5 million funding gap. Despite the financial pressures facing our Council this is a budget that protects local jobs and services."
Depute Leader Rob Davidson said: "Our budget contains a number of investments to support our region's recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and to support local priorities. We're asking local residents to pay a little more council tax so that we can invest in our local priorities such as schools, roads, and tackling the climate emergency. The majority of local residents will pay no more than 71p a week extra in council tax. For Bands A to D this will be offset by a government grant of £150."
The Education and Learning directorate budget will increase by £7.2 million. Although Dumfries and Galloway is experiencing a fall in school rolls, the budget increases teacher numbers.
In the next academic year, the Council expects to employ an additional ten teachers and 14 support for learning assistants on a full-time equivalent basis, delivering a positive impact on the pupil/teacher ratio.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis have exacerbated the poverty and inequality faced by too many people across the region. The Council's budget will continue the allocation of £1 million to specific tackling-poverty-and-inequality initiatives for financial year 2022/23.
The Council's budget for 2021/22 allocated £2.4 million over three years for a Roads Recovery Fund. The 2022/2023 budget allocates a further £960,000 to the Roads Recovery Fund.
Dumfries and Galloway Council was one of the first in the UK to declare a Climate Emergency. The Council has already decarbonised 25 per cent of its vehicle fleet and the 2022/2023 budget reflects financial and carbon savings.
The Council is committed to taking action to achieve Net Zero by 2025. The 2022/2023 budget allocates an additional £270k over the next three years to support feasibility studies and the technical support for key green infrastructure projects, such as the Dumfries Aquifer District Heating programme, which will help achieve the 2025 target.
Full details of Dumfries and Galloway Council's 2022/2023 budget that was passed unanimously at Full Council on Tuesday 22 February 2022 can be found at:
To view the discussion online go to Full Council: 22 February 2022: Full Council - 22 February 2022