COUNCIL BUDGET: Where your money will be spent

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The budget agreed by Falkirk Council covers a variety of areas.

Education – £166.941 million, decrease by £1.422 million (–0.8 per cent) with £300,000 saved by voluntary severance and early retirement. Another £400,000 saved by reviewing support staff at education headquarters and the allocation of support for learning assistants in schools.

Social work – £87.507 million, increase by £1.963 million (2.3 per cent) to cover increased pension costs and inflationary rise in purchasing care from external providers. Five additional occupational therapists will be employed at cost of £195,000.

Development services – £37.307 million, increase of £554,000 (1.5 per cent) includes £360,000 to manage operational costs from the opening of Helix this year. Also £350,000 to maintain current bus services prior to a review.

Corporate and Neighbourhood Services – £14.731 million, reduced by £217,000 (–1.5 per cent) to include savings of £250,000 because of less use of B&Bs, £100,000 from cutting office costs and £400,000 from current savings.

Housing – £54.7 million with the £4.1 million shortfall to be met with rent increases of 3.6 per cent and the use of £2.5 million reserves.

Although the council will continue to fund external organisations to the tune of £5.38 million, a handful have had their funding cut or withdrawn and money given to local projects.

The council leader said that despite the economic trials, the Administration would continue to invest in the district with a series of projects to benefit the area and its people.

These include a new Carrongrange School and extensions at Antonine and St Joseph’s Primaries; flood prevention and road projects; improving older people’s accommodation; replacing the cremators at Falkirk Crematorium; and upgrading parks.

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