Council invests in communities as part of budget

Council budget 2018/19

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Individual communities will be able to direct millions of pounds of spending in their areas under plans approved by the council.

And, building on recent announcements to combat poverty, the budget increases footwear and clothing grants for those children most in need and extends school breakfast clubs to every primary school in North Lanarkshire.

There was significant investment, too, in schools and other facilities, with £27.5million earmarked, and an extra £1million for roads maintenance.

Councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: "This is a budget that delivers for all the communities in North Lanarkshire. It delivers for communities, with people in each area being able to decide how to spend £6million. There will be tens of millions of pounds of investment in schools and facilities, taking our overall Schools and Centres 21 programme to more than £600million.

"It delivers in our fight against poverty, with increased grants for footwear and clothing to those children most in need and extending breakfast clubs to all primary schools. All of this builds on the work we are already doing to combat period poverty and food poverty."

The council also confirmed there would be no compulsory redundancies and that staff would receive pay increases in line with other public sector bodies.

Under the approved budget, savings from services of £2.6million were approved along with a 3% increase in council tax.

Councillor Tom Fisher, the council's convener of finance, said: "This has not been an easy process, and we have faced significant challenges in getting to a balanced budget.

"During our recent consultation, people told us they didn't want to see cuts to facilities in their communities. We have been able to achieve that by not reducing the management fee available to North Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture NL.

"People told us in their thousands that the experience for pupils delivered at Kilbowie Outdoor Centre was essential; we have maintained that. We have rejected the introduction of charges for car parking.

"This budget delivers for the whole of North Lanarkshire and I am pleased we have been able to approve it today (Friday 23 February 2018)."

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