More than 2,400 residents across the Stirling Council area have already have taken part in an online survey on proposals to bridge Stirling Council’s estimated £13 million budget gap.
All residents are encouraged to have their say in the survey – the easiest way to share views on the Council’s budget-saving proposals – before it closes on 30 November.
The survey, which launched on 9 November, has attracted some of the highest levels of responses ever on the Council’s Engage Stirling platform.
It is a key part of the Council’s Big Conversation with residents at how it addresses its budget shortfall, which will continue over the coming months.
The survey is opportunity for residents to feedback on the impact of individual savings proposals or increases to charges. There are options for each proposal and if you object to the option due the impact on you, you can explain why in the question that follows.
The information gathered will help councillors make decisions when setting the council budget early next year.
The Council must plug its budget gap in 2024-25 despite making significant savings of around £6 million in the current financial year.
The majority of Scottish councils’ funding comes from the Scottish Government. In Stirling Council nearly 79% of the budget comes from a Scottish Government grant and our share of the Government’s non-domestic rates or business rates, with the rest raised from council tax to support the budget.
Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Chris Kane said: “The huge number of participants shows the impact of these proposals for everyone across Stirling.
“They make for stark reading and highlight the painful decisions we will have to make as we face with this unprecedented financial challenge, a situation mirrored at other councils across Scotland.
“I would like to thank everyone has taken part in the online survey so far. Your feedback on these proposals will help inform on what we do next as we continue our Big Conversation with residents. If you haven’t had your say in the survey yet – please do so before the deadline on Thursday 30 November.”
Residents can also learn about the proposals and the Council’s challenging financial situation at the latest Big Conversation drop-in events, with staff from various services in attendance at each one.
Cllr Kane added: “We’ve had increasing numbers of people coming along to the drop-in events and I hope they have proved helpful and informative. Our staff look forward to discussing any of these issues with you at the remaining sessions.
“It’s important we keep the open dialogue with each other going so we can negotiate this challenge together and continue delivering the services that our residents and communities value the most.”
A selection of the proposed savings or increases in charges are listed below:
- Close or reduce council-managed community centres.
- Stop the annual mowing of rural road verges, reduce grass cutting or increase space for pollinator spaces.
- Closure of some libraries.
- Reduction in budget for events and festivals.
- Removal of the ‘road-end’ waste collection policy.
- Stop the greenspace ranger service.
- Reduce spending on maintenance at buildings and facilities.
- Removal of the community grant scheme.
- Reduce free, confidential and impartial accredited money, debt and benefit advice to residents.
- Change the operating models (opening times and capacity) at some nurseries.
- Increase non statutory childcare fees.
- Reduce or stop the play, creche, play and out of school care service.
- Reduce teachers in the additional support needs outreach team.
- Removal of the P5 swimming programme.
- Reduce the primary school week for pupils.
- Close some or all public toilets.
More details and the full list of proposals can be found in the online survey on the Engage Stirling platform. Paper copies of the survey area also available at Stirling Council libraries.
See below for dates and times of the remaining round of Big Conversation drop-in events:
- Bannockburn High School – Wednesday 22 November, 6pm to 7.30pm
- Dunblane High School – Monday 27 November, 6pm to 7.30pm