Dumfries & Galloway Council’s budget has been agreed, with the support of Independent Councillors. The Conservative-SNP Administration’s proposals invest in roads infrastructure and small business support, expand the Council’s graduate and apprenticeship schemes, increase the Living Wage to £7.50 an hour and continue to avoid compulsory redundancies. Additional money allocated in today’s budget takes the amount of funding allocated to addressing Welfare Reform to £1.6 million.
In addition, Council Leader, Ivor Hyslop, publicly invited Dumfries’s Theatre Royal to enter discussions with the Council on the release of £455,000 of capital funding ring-fenced for theatre provision in Dumfries.
Cllr. Hyslop said:
“The Administration’s budget, supported by Independent Councillors, strikes the right balance between making the savings we have to and, at the same time, continuing to invest in our region.
“I am pleased that we have been able to put together a targeted package of measures to support the region’s small businesses as well continuing to support civic pride initiatives and support sporting excellence in the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“We have also allocated £1 million of extra funding to roads maintenance, concentrating on rural lifeline links and urban housing estates, which we intend will be made available to local contractors. We have also removed altogether the charges for music tuition.”
Depute Leader Cllr. Collins added:
“In today’s budget we increased the Living Wage to £7.50 an hour and continue to avoid compulsory redundancies. In total, as a result of today’s decision, the Council is devoting £1.6 million to addressing the pressures caused by welfare reform.
“We are also continuing to invest in early intervention, targeting more support at our most vulnerable children and school clusters. We are continuing with the successful teacher refresh scheme and have maintained classroom assistants where they are most needed.
“This budget balances the need to make savings with the need to invest in our region.”