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Glasgow City Council

Council budget protects frontline services and invests in education and communities despite biggest ever cuts

Published: Thursday, 10 March 2016



Glasgow City Council has passed a budget for the next financial year that invests in education, communities and employment.

This is despite the city facing the biggest ever cut in its funding from the Scottish Government. The council has to make cuts of £130m over the next two years.

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of the Council, said: "The £130m cuts we face over the next two years are not just cuts from Westminster. Glasgow has had a double whammy of Holyrood cuts piled on top of those from Westminster.

"When I became Leader the city faced a cuts bill of £103m. Now its £130m. Make no mistake this is a direct result of the Scottish Government's budget cuts."

In the time since the Scottish Government came to power Glasgow's share of the local government budget in Scotland has declined every year. It is estimated that this has cost the council more than £450m in that time.

Cllr McAveety said: "The Scottish Government is passing on a bigger share of the cuts to local government than those being passed on to it from the UK Government. While the Scottish Government budget was cut by 1.5% by Westminster here in Glasgow our budget faces a 4.4% cut from Holyrood. The result can be figured in tens of millions."

The council faces a spending gap of £130 million over the next two years - with £83 million of that figure falling in 2016/17. However the council has used reserves and other measures to mitigate the scale of those cuts - £25m is the figure for those measures. This means that the figure for cuts in 2016/17 comes to some £58m.

Headline savings

•   Jobs - £25m

The budget requires a reduction of around 1,500 jobs over the next financial year. However, the council has committed to no compulsory redundancies, so this will be achieved solely through natural wastage - and the redeployment of staff to ensure services have the workforce they need.

•   Procurement - £10m 

We will cut almost £10 million from our procurement bill in the next year by renegotiating contracts and consolidating how goods, services and works are purchased across all services and arm's-length external organisations (ALEOs), to get a better deal for taxpayers.

•   Community Grants - £6.15m

There will be a reduction in the amount available for grants, with Police Scotland (£1.6m) and our own ALEOs targeted for savings. This will allow us to refocus the remaining funding to benefit smaller, community-based groups and organisations cross the city.

•   Assisted Garden Maintenance - £1.5m

There will be a reduction in the frequency of the service - meaning residents will have grass and hedges cut fewer times each year.

•   Building Cleaning - £700k

Schools, museums, libraries and office buildings will be cleaned less often and to a lower standard.

•   Cultural Grants - £208k

We will review grants, with a proposal to remove support for the Theatre Royal and reduce grants for the King's Theatre and Pollok House by 10%.

•   Graffiti Removal - £48k

Currently, there is a priority service for areas experiencing a higher level of anti-social behaviour. This will be removed, so it will take longer to remove some graffiti.                                                                                     

•   Review of Christmas activities

Savings will have to be found in the festive programme and officers will examine all options in the months ahead.

Investment in schools and communities

Despite these savings, the council has pledged new capital spending to invest £100m in communities and schools over the next five years.

Cllr McAveety said: "Despite facing a huge budget shortfall, Glasgow City Council has committed to investing £100m in our schools and community facilities over the next five years with an increased capital investment fund.

"This fund will ensure that these vital facilities across the city continue to operate and don't suffer from the cuts being imposed on us - a real example of the council delivering for the communities of Glasgow."

Frontline services protected

•      £100m capital investment for community assets and schools in the next five years

•      City Building merger with GHA, guaranteeing 90 new apprenticeships this year

•      Glasgow Guarantee maintained with 1000 places on offer for the unemployed - the most comprehensive employment scheme anywhere in the UK

•      £255m 4Rs programme for the rebuilding or refurbishment of primary, nursery and additional support for learning schools

•      Grants budget cuts reduced by £600,000 to assist community groups and the Third Sector across the city

•      Free swimming for the under-16s maintained

•      Affordable Warmth dividend of £100 for the over-80s maintained

Council Tax bills will again be frozen at 2005 levels, with a Band D rate of £1,213.

Further details on the budget are available here:

Published: Thursday, 10 March 2016



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