North Ayrshire Council sets 2018-19 Budget
Posted on 28 Feb 2018
North Ayrshire Council will continue to preserve its highest-priority frontline services after setting its budget for 2018-19 in the face of a challenging financial settlement.
Around £4.59million of savings required to be found in order to balance the £331.2million revenue budget, which covers the day-to-day running of Council services.
Since 2010/11, North Ayrshire Council has had to make savings of £80m from its revenue budget, due to funding not keeping pace with the rising cost and demand for services.
Despite these financial challenges, the Council made a continuing commitment to continue to support its lowest earners, those living in poverty and North Ayrshire’s children.
Among the range of measures passed include:
- Increased investment in the services that support our most vulnerable residents with additional funding of approximately £3.5million for the Health & Social Care Partnership.
- Increased funding earmarked for the expansion of early learning and childcare across North Ayrshire.
- A commitment to meet the increased costs of the Living Wage and staff pay increase.
At the meeting, the Council also approved a capital investment plan worth £245million over the next 10 years. The plan includes a new school and infrastructure works at Montgomerie Park in Irvine; a new school to replace the ageing Moorpark Primary in Kilbirnie; the creation of a residential and respite unit for children in Stevenston; and redevelopment of Annick Primary in Irvine.
The approved plan will also see roads budget double from £16m to £33m following an unusally cold and wet winter which affected roads across Scotland.
Councillors also agreed to an amendment which will see £200,000 being invested in a new partnership development with Ayrshire College, £132,000 to resolve the drainage issues at Woodlands Primary School’s playing field and £154,000 to upgrade Kilbirnie Cemetery.
The estimated net impact of the financial settlement means that there is likely to be a reduction of approximately 50 whole-time equivalent posts, taking account of the planned expansion of early learning and childcare and the Council’s increased contribution to the Health & Social Care Partnership. The Council will take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of the budget on the workforce including removing vacant posts, exploring opportunities for redeployment and responding to requests for voluntary early redundancy and early retirement.
It was also agreed that Council Tax levels for 2018-19 will rise by three per cent.
North Ayrshire Council anticipates further reductions in grant funding in 2019-20 and beyond, creating significant challenges in balancing its budget.