Key features of the programme include more than £43 million strategic investment in ICT and £3m more in 2018/19 for road reconstruction and improvement.
An additional £12m for a new ‘all-through’ campus at Carrick Academy was also agreed, taking the budget to more than £19m as part of a total investment package of more than £74m in the education estate
A £1m package to support Maybole town centre regeneration, £750,000 to support the implementation of 20 mile per hour speed limits in towns and villages and £855,000 to improve public toilet provision made up the spending programme.
Also agreed yesterday was a £186 million revenue budget for 2018/19 includes additional investment in key areas that support the council’s vision for Our People, Our Place. This includes:
- Increasing the school clothing grant by 50% to £75 pounds (£66,000)
- £65,000 to support the schools at the heart of the community project and to provide additional holiday activities for schools in the most socially-disadvantaged areas
- £20,000 to reinstate a fund to support community galas
- £17,000 to cover the letting costs for breakfast clubs in our schools
- Supporting the development of place plans for the five towns and villages programme, with £100,000 for improved signage and community engagement
- £75,000 to support staff training and retraining initiatives to ensure the council can deliver the right services in the best possible way.
Councillors agreed the use of £1.5m of uncommitted reserves for revenue spending, and a further £3m from uncommitted reserves split evenly between the Repairs and Renewals Fund and the Capital Fund.
They also approved funding of £71m pounds for the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, which is an increase of 2.5% on previous years.
Council leader Douglas Campbell said: “What we have agreed today is an unprecedented budget for this Council – a budget that has been shaped by our people, for our people.
“It’s the outcome of consultation and engagement with thousands of people across South Ayrshire who took the time to have their say – and who we have listened and responded to. As a result, this budget genuinely balances the resources we have with the services and facilities people want and need, and I want to thank those people for their participation.
“From the outset last year, we have been clear as an administration about what matters to us and that is our people and our places. They sit at the heart of everything we do and the ambitions we have not just for the Council, but for the whole South Ayrshire area.
“We want South Ayrshire to be the best it can be and for all people and places to have the opportunity to reach their full potential and, through this budget, we are laying the foundations for a strengthened South Ayrshire that works for all, but especially the most in need.
“I’m pleased we have addressed the restrictions of the current financial climate head-on, while taking steps to ensure the impact and burden of balancing the budget doesn’t fall on those least able to pay.
“That’s not been easy, and we’ve had to do this while meeting necessary costs like pay awards for staff and increased contractual costs – all of which impacts on how much we have to spend.
“That’s why we can be proud that we have agreed a balanced budget today that not only bridges the challenging budget gap we’ve had to meet, but also provides an ambitious programme of investment that will improve lives and make a difference where it matters most.
“This budget invests in our vision, in our people, and in our places to create a strong, sustainable South Ayrshire – and that’s something we all want to see.”
Full details of the budget can be found here.