North Lanarkshire adds £45m to capital plan

North Lanarkshire adds £45m to capital plan

North Lanarkshire Council is to invest a further £45 million of capital in its ground-breaking community hub programme as part of its budget for 2024-25.

The award-winning community hubs – which are being developed to deliver on a promise to rebuild or refurbish every school built prior to 1996 – are places at the heart of communities which, as well as containing schools, host community facilities and partner services.

The council, which has the second lowest mainland council tax in Scotland, agreed to freeze council tax for one year but recognised that COSLA, the body which represents local councils, are in dispute with the Scottish Government on a range of budget issues. The council agreed to support COSLA’s campaigns on this issue.

Councillor Jim Logue said: “Once again, we find ourselves in a position of having to do the best we can with a wholly unsatisfactory settlement from the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government’s own spending review indicated we would receive a flat cash settlement and yet we find that the actual figure is more than £2m less than expected.

“The only reason we have agreed to freeze council tax is that the people of North Lanarkshire would have to bear an even greater rise than 5% to make up the sum the government would withhold from the council. This flies in the face of local democracy and does not respect local decision-making.

“Councils need fair funding and the principles in the Verity House agreement between councils and the Scottish Government must be adhered to.”

The council also agreed service savings of over £6m. These included:

  • Implementing a policy to charge 100% council tax for second homes
  • Removing free food waste bags
  • Increasing the fine for a parking ticket to £100 (£50 if paid within 14 days)
  • Charging £30 to replace recycling bins

Service savings affecting capacity and staffing were also agreed across a range of areas, with further service reviews to come in 2024-25.

Councillor Logue added: “We have tried to minimise the impact on staff. Where staff reductions are needed we will always look to avoid compulsory redundancy with voluntary severance, early retirement and redeployment.

“In the end, though, we have been forced to make cuts to services which are hugely valued by local people coming on top of more than a decade of real-terms cuts amounting to more than £200m.”

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