Falkirk spending programme will save in long term

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Ambitious plans could see Falkirk Council fund a new fitness suite, give retirement deals to teachers ... and turn down the lights.

‘Spend to save’ proposals will cost over £2 million if given the go-ahead but could bring in cash within three years.

This is the second phase of proposals to use cash in the council coffers to fund initiatives which will eventually save money.

Councillor Craig Martin, council leader, said the move was a way of protecting 
frontline services.

He said: “We have already shown this is a successful strategy with the first phase of spend to save. This is the second tranche of the £3.5 million initiative which in the long term will reduce council costs.

“It is an excellent opportunity for us to protect the public pound for taxpayers in Falkirk.”

Councillors on the executive committee agreed to spend £225,000 changing street lamps from 250 watts to 150 watts on main traffic routes. This will achieve savings of £97,000 annually.

Rhona Geisler, development services director, said lighting levels would still comply with British Standards.

Following severance deals being offered to 36 teachers, £125,000 is being spent to give a further 20 the chance to leave their posts.

Another lease buyout at Central Park in Larbert will cost the council £690,000, but will save £230,000 
annually in rental.

Falkirk Community Trust wants £1 million to develop a health and fitness suite. 
Although its preferred option is at Falkirk Community 
Stadium, councillors were keener to see it located in a retail unit in Stenhousemuir.

However, they were critical of the proposal brought forward by the trust, saying it lacked detail. Although it was approved in principle, officials were told to come back with more concrete proposals.