Stir­ling Coun­cil gets spend­ing power lift

Stirling Observer - - SCHOOL NEWS -

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.

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