Stirling Council gets spending power lift
Over recent months the Scottish Government has been working tirelessly on Scotland’s budget plans for the year ahead.
This month the Cabinet Secretary for Finance announced his budget, setting out £900 million of additional spending in public services despite the very challenging funding settlement from the Tory Government.
I was proud to vote in favour of the Scottish Government’s budget which provides a strong funding deal for Stirling with the spending commitments in the NHS, education and infrastructure ensuring that the SNP are delivering the best deal in the United Kingdom for taxpayers.
The Budget announcement will also see Stirling Council receive £2.8 million more funding than anticipated, as part of an additional £160 million support for Scottish councils. Despite cuts to the Scottish Government budget, Stirling Council will receive an increase in its overall spending power. For the opposition parties, with the exception of the Greens, to vote against this was deeply disappointing and against the best interests of our community.
Every child in Scotland deserves the best possible start in life and through the SNP’s commitment to close the poverty-related attainment gap, the Scottish Government has announced a £120 million Pupil Equity Fund. As a result of this funding schools in the Stirling Council area will receive additional support worth £1.4 million. I am delighted that such a significant investment has been made in our schools and I believe that this has the potential to help transform the educational experiences of young people in Stirling.
Continuing with education, the Scottish Government has also taken significant action to improve early years learning and childcare. Families across Stirling will also benefit from the £1.5 million that the SNP Government have invested in early years workforce expansion. By improving childcare provisions in our community, we will be able to tackle the attainment gap and ensure that young people benefit from high quality care and early years education.
The past few weeks have also seen the opening of two new schools in the constituency at St Ninians Primary School and St Margaret’s RC Primary School in Cowie. These are both fabulous brand new facilities which will be of great benefit to the local communities supported by over £6million from the Scottish Governments School for the Future Fund.
Not only does the SNP Government’s budget deliver an increased investment in education, but it also secures the future of Scotland’s health service. Under the SNP, health spending is at a record high with Stirling and the surrounding area benefitting from a range of direct spending commitments, this includes the record investment in NHS Forth Valley worth £495 million.
Work has also begun on the Stirling Care Village, which is a £35 million development built on the grounds of the Stirling Community Hospital. It will transform the way services are delivered by bringing a wide range of health, social care, training and GP services together in one location.
I have also recently received an update on the plans for Doune Health Centre.
This project has taken longer to come to fruition than was originally anticipated however from my latest discussions with health board officials I am glad that there is now a commitment to fund the building of the new medical centre in the coming financial year.
Finally, it is great to hear Stirling Council has back tracked on plans to privatise the fantastic leisure service currently run by Active Stirling.
Congratulatios to all the campaigners who put pressure on the council.