Budget gains final approval
Living wage rolled out from April 1
The 2016/17 revenue budget was finally approved at South Lanarkshire Council on Monday, as the local authority approved plans to pay the living wage to employees.
The £663m revenue budget, which sets out how money will be spent in areas such as schools, roads, care homes and council housing, outlined proposals to pay council staff a minimum of £ 8.44 per hour from April 1.
It will see the annual wages of the lowest-paid workers increase by £463, based on a 37-hour week.
Council leader Eddie McAvoy said the local authority wanted to continue to ‘ lead the way’ on the living wage.
He spoke about the budget after a special meeting of the council where it was also confirmed local council tax rates will be frozen.
He said: “I have now been balancing the council’s budget for 20 years and it has never been as difficult as it was this year.
“However, the administration and council officials have worked hard to minimise the impact and continue to protect the key frontline services that people depend on, especially the Band A B C D E F G H young,young theelderlyandthevulnerablethe elderly and the vulnerable.
“I want to thank everyone who has played a part in this, including trade unions for taking a constructive approach and their suggestions, our council workers, and those political groups which offered their ideas.”
Council’s approval of the revenue budget followed a meeting of the executive committee on February 24 at which a number of controversial saving proposals, previously under consideration, were removed.
At that meeting, the executive committee approved Mr McAvoy’s plan to continue providing free transport for pupils who live more than two miles from school, and to keep funding transport provision for voluntary organisations.organisations
The council leader won approval to scrap other savings, including social work closures, and cuts to funding for gala days and also for Christmas lighting.
The revenue budget confirms education, and particularly schools, as the council’s biggest financial responsibility, with £ 311m in spending expected this year.
Social work accounts for £133m, while £ 102m is allocated to community and enterprise resources to deliver services such as roads, leisure, and waste collections and recycling.
More than £24m will go towards housing and technical resources.
Officials have worked hard to minimise the impact