Falkirk councillors discuss plans to increase school meal fees

Picture Ian Rutherford
Picture Ian Rutherford

Councillors disagreed over proposals to increase school meal charges in an attempt the balance the books.

Also among the suggestions to deal with the anticipated £60 million shortfall in the next five years are plans to increase charges for childcare and uplifting special waste, as well as introducing fees for meals at special needs schools, disposing of garden waste and parking at train stations.

A number of recommendations were put forward by officials but not approved at Falkirk Council’s executive meeting on Tuesday.

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Councillor Dennis Goldie, said: “I have real concerns in relation to some of the charges.”

But Councillor David Alexander said: “There is no change to the rates at this point. What we have now is a framework which is very welcome.”

Councillors have been working to develop a plan to help bridge the projected budget gap expected in the coming financial year.

If fees for council services are increased, concessions may be introduced to ensure access to them is not denied to those on a low incomes or on means tested benefits.

Mr Goldie added: “The proposals to increase charges for school meals and picking up special waste will not be supported by the Labour group.”

Council leader, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, added: “These are just suggestions. We have not seen Labour’s proposals yet.”

Discussions between councillors and officers will continue.