A new method of controlling Stirling Council’s spending plans involves the views of the council tax payer more than ever before, it is claimed by council bosses.
It was introduced this year and will run for five years, thus providing some continuity. Around £200m will be spent over that period.
However, in these austere times, cuts are necessary and this year’s budget saw plans to deliver savings of £10.7m of the indicative required savings of £29m over the same period.
This year’s budget process saw a huge “shopping list” of possible cuts which were tested at a whole series of public consultation meetings. This will be repeated in the build-up to the next four annual council budget processes.
At the Cambusbarron Community Council meeting on April 15, Alan Rennie is going to propose that a “Stirling Council budget” heading is featured on the agenda of every monthly meeting from now on.
“We must stay alive to the fact that the Cambusbarron community could be adversely affected by future cuts in services,” he said. “This year, for example, there were fears about the library service. It came to nothing but that’s not to say that the library won’t be a target next year. We must be prepared to fight to keep such services.”
A recent Forum 5 meeting, chaired by Cambusbarron CC, provided Rennie with more food for thought.
“Service head Bob Gil was very upfront and asked the community councils represented to identify areas where Stirling Council could make economies, where things could be done in a more cost-efficient way,” said Rennie.
“We all see or hear about such things relating to the council in our role as community councillors. But something else will turn up and you’re apt to forget all about it. If this Budget item is on the agenda each month, we can keep track on such matters.”