East Dunbartonshire agrees housing revenue and capital spending budget
East Dunbartonshire Council agreed its housing revenue and capital budget for the year ahead at its special council meeting last week.
The revised 10-year capital programme for 2021/22 signalled a commitment to significant investment across all of East Dunbartonshire.
Joint council leader Vaughan Moody highlighted: “Our ambitious capital programme continues our commitment to build a new Boclair Academy and a new Allander Leisure and Adult Day Care Centre in Bearsden, a new Additional Support Needs School and a Community Sports Complex in Kirkintilloch.
“In addition, there is a new £1 million town centre improvement fund for Milngavie, a commitment to undertake a feasibility study to build a new Lenzie Academy and a further £5m across the programme for the schools ICT budget in recognition of the connectivity and hardware improvements critical to support the learning environment.”
The housing capital budget for 2021/22 is £28.27m, which includes:
- £4.75m investment in meeting the Scottish Housing Quality standards and energy efficiency standards and improving the safety and liveability of council houses
- £12.45m on the development of new affordable housing through the Affordable Housing Investment Programme
- £5.37m to fund purchasing new homes using turnkey arrangements from developers
- £3.2m to fund purchasing properties from the open market
- £2.4m for the implementation of a new Integrated Housing management system.
Joint council leader Andrew Polson said: “Our capital programme, both for 2021/22 and our five-year capital overview, demonstrates our commitment to continually improving our current housing stock, ensuring it meets both quality and energy efficiency standards. Our capital housing budget also sees substantial investment to expand our housing stock through both new builds and a range of purchase schemes.
“Overall we have delivered a housing budget that recognises our current and future need. Our revenue and capital investment priorities demonstrate a balanced budget for the year ahead and take account of the truly challenging circumstances our tenants currently face.”
Taking account of £1.65m employee costs, £3.45m for property and other operating costs, central support totalling £2.45m, debt charges of £3.48m and assumed borrowing of £13.5m to support the housing capital investment programme, the income required from housing rent for the budget was £14.57m.
Councillor Moody added: “Mindful of the challenging financial impact of Covid-19 on our communities, we have been able to keep our rent increases to a bare minimum of just 0.5% which equates to the average weekly rent over a 48 week period of just 42p. This is well below our benchmarking comparisons and is largely supported by our tenants.
“We are also establishing a Hardship Fund to support those whose tenancies are at risk due to financial hardship exacerbated by the pandemic. This builds on our ongoing council commitment to support the most vulnerable in our communities and tackle financial deprivation and poverty.”