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Glasgow City Council

Council agrees communities-first budget for pandemic recovery

Published Thursday 17 February 2022

Councillors in Glasgow have agreed a budget that focuses on pandemic recovery, communities and supporting households most vulnerable to a cost-of-living crisis.

Measures including a £25 million local infrastructure fund to tackle potholes, repairs and improvements; extra staff to carry out neighbourhood deep cleans, and cash for those facing fuel poverty.

The budget, which was passed with votes from the SNP-led City Government and Scottish Green Party, also provides additional funding to support the reopening of venues affected by the pandemic.

Council Tax bills will rise by 3%, meeting the expectation that increases would be pegged below inflation, with households facing other rising costs.   

City Treasurer Ricky Bell said: "The last two years have been among the most difficult our city has faced - and the importance of our communities and our neighbourhoods in all of our lives has become clearer than ever.

"The investment we're making in our communities through this budget may not quite signal a return to 'normal'; but will help residents recover confidence and satisfaction with their neighbourhoods.

"That means putting resources closer to communities to deal with repairs and enhancements to local infrastructure - and it means spending on local parks and green spaces; deep cleans in our neighbourhoods where the pandemic has disrupted routine services.

"And because communities are about people, rather than just places, we're finding extra resources to help those most at risk of struggling with the rising cost of energy bills and support financial inclusion."

Today's joint budget also provides additional resources for Glasgow Life and supporting the reopening of venues, including community centres.

Green co-convenor Martha Wardrop added: "This budget is the result of productive cross-party discussions around shared priorities of helping people with the cost of living, reopening community venues and accelerating climate action.

"It asks the Health and Social Care Partnership to consider increased allowances for our valued foster and kinship carers, and targets up to £3 million to help those in greatest need with energy bills and other needs.

"As well as confirming the funding to keep all local libraries open, it will also allocate more than £1 million to reopen community centres and public halls, and £650k to reopen the much-loved St Mungo's Museum and Provand's Lordship.

"Finally, in responding to the climate and nature emergencies, it will design a free public transport pilot, increase recycling investment, and create a wildflower action plan for the whole city.

"In agreeing this budget, we can meet citizen's immediate needs and set a course for a greener and fairer Glasgow."

In total, the city expects to raise just over £321 million in Council tax in the next year. A 3% increase in bills means the new Band D charge will be £1,428 - or £42 more than in 2021/22.

It should be noted, however, that the average household bill in Glasgow is considerably lower than Band D.

Published Thursday 17 February 2022

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