Councils to set out spending cuts and price increases in budgets

Council Taxes
Budget: The councils will approve the budgets on Thursday.Dave Dugdale

The councils in Scotland’s biggest cities are to set their budgets for the coming year.

Both Glasgow and Edinburgh city councils meet on Thursday to debate and approve their spending on services.

Both are having to make cuts, with £54m in cuts proposed in Glasgow and Edinburgh needing to save £95m over the next five years.

Council tax has been frozen by the Scottish Government for another years, leaving local authorities with no choice but to find money elsewhere.

In Glasgow, education and social work are the hardest hit departments in the proposed cuts package.

According to its proposed budget for 2013-15, education services would experience £11.3m cuts, while social work would see savings of £15.2m for the period.

Among the measures are reducing the number of teaching staff specially trained to provide support for pupils with additional learning needs, which will save £2.4m. An increase in the number of elderly people the social services care for through "reablement" will save £4.6m

Bus lane cameras in five locations across the city will raise £1.3m for the council.

The budget in Edinburgh focuses more on increasing costs to raise more money for the local authority.

The cost of using public toilets will go from free to 30p, day care for older people from £5.50 to £6.50 and school meals will increase by 5p. Parking costs are also set to rise with George Street parking increasing to £3 an hour and the old town to £2 per hour.

Money has also been set aside to assess the future of Meadowbank Sports Centre which could be sold in the future to help deal with the funding gap.

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