There were a few things that I wanted to highlight regarding the meeting that has just finished, discussing the budget process. The Labour Group have spent the last nine months discussing the budget and setting our priorities, we produced a well thought out budget, the SNP put up three amendments which did not total EVEN the length of a page of A4.
The SNP wanted to wait! The reason? Because they know that they cannot formulate a better budget than the one presented, their suggestion go back and ask for more money, no position on what to do with the money we have been given. Opposition members suggested that the SNP would not be able to balance the budget without making cuts, and Cllr Harkins Leader of the Council pointed out that the SNP were abdicating their responsibility.
Cllr Kenny on the summing up of his presentation pointed out that the SNP nationally are suggesting that if elected that they will freeze Council tax for two years, if this is true, why did the SNP not prove it by formulating a budget on this basis and presenting it today?
Cllr Kenny also pointed to the upgrade of the Lagoon Lesiure Centre, the biggest ever investment in our schools and the new Elderly Care homes as the Labour Administrations strongest achievements.
Cllr Tommy Williams Deputy Leader of the Council comended the budget and pointed out that as a Council...
'we are nothing without the people who deliver the service.'
That the Council had a reputation second to none in Scotland, and that the Council is leading the way in Social Work opening the three new care homes but also the respite care unit in Glenburn which will be opened soon.
OK to the Important bit, the Council tax rise this year will be a below inflation rise of 1.9% and the rent increase will be 2.5%. The Liberals suggested 2.5% for the Council tax and as stated above the SNP didn't make a suggestion, for rents the SNP suggested using more of the working balances and increasing rents 2%. This means an increase of £22 per year, for this projects such as New Town Centre wardens, upgrades to the Paisley Town Hall, Renfrew and Johnstone Town Centre improvements, and upgrading of the Glenburn and Hunterhill community centres. Anyone wanting the full details of the budget should contact their local Councillor.