Glasgow spending plans set out with residents facing 3% council tax rise

The rise will be implemented from April with the start of the new financial year.

Glasgow City Council spending plans set out with residents in the city facing a 3% council tax rise iStock

Council tax in Glasgow is to rise by 3%, whilst there is funding to reopen facilities and tackle fly-tipping in the city as spending plans were announced.

The Glasgow City Council budget was set out by treasurer Ricky Bell, SNP councillor for Govan, on Thursday.

It comes after a deal was reached between the SNP and the Greens following discussions on Wednesday.

Funding to keep all libraries in the city open and to fully restore the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, as well as plans to design a free public transport pilot, were all set out in the budget.

The 3% council tax rise will be implemented from April as part of efforts to meet a spending gap of £19.7m identified by the council.

The council will borrow £25.5m for 13 new and permanent neighbourhood teams that will carry out a rolling programme of neighbourhood deep cleans.

A revised pricing structure for resident parking permits in existing permit zones will be introduced from January 2023, where the cost of purchase will be based on vehicle emission values.

On street parking costs will also increase, as well as the cost of residents parking permits within Glasgow City.

There will be a “sliding scale” increase to purchase multiple residential parking permits across the city.

Investment of £200,000 has been allocated to address fly-tipping in the city, whilst the bulk uplift charge is to be simplified to replicate Edinburgh, at a cost of £5 per item.

A sum of £1.1m will be made available as part of the work to reopen more facilities across Glasgow.

All 23 wards in the city will be given £1m to spend on infrastructure improvements and will have discretion to determine their own priorities.

It means that local residents and groups will be able to decide what the money is spent on, whether it be pothole repairs, improved street lighting or new road safety measures, amongst some suggestions.

Funding of £1m has also been earmarked to help the most vulnerable, including fuel top-up vouchers and providing energy advice.

A further £1.5m will be made available in order to target other groups, with help to access welfare benefits and when entering employment.

SNP councillor Bell insisted that the budget responds to the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the cost of living crisis and to the priorities identified in Glaswegians.

Greens’ co-convener Jon Molyneux said that the spending plans meet the immediate needs of citizens and moves the city forward in a ways that are “greener and fairer”.

His party indicated that the budget would mean more action including progress on a free public transport pilot, a city-wide 20mph zone and investment in local, renewable energy.

Responding to the spending announcement, Labour group leader, councillor Malcolm Cunning, criticised the Scottish Government, telling the council that “year on year the budgets are cut”.

And he suggested that this year’s council budget had offered “one-off” fixes, as opposed to long-term commitments and investments that had been proposed by his party.

The Glasgow Conservative group had called on the council to include a council tax freeze in its budget.

Conservative councillor Kyle Thornton took aim at Holyrood decision-makers, as he accused the Scottish Government of making a “political decision” to cut funding to local government.

Thornton also said that his party would have restored twice-weekly bin collections in the city, as well as scrapping the bulk uplift charge.

In the final vote, 41 MSPs votes for the SNP/Green budget, 31 for the Labour budget, adjusted by independent councillors, and six for the Tories.

The full breakdown of how each council tax band will be effected is as follows:

Council Tax Band A – 2021/22: £924 + £27.72 = 2022/23: £951.72
Council Tax Band B – 2021/22: £1078 + £32.34 = £1110.34
Council Tax Band C – 2021/22: £1232 + £36.96 = £1269
Council Tax Band D – 2021/22: £1386 + £41.58 = £1427.58
Council Tax Band E – 2021/22: £1821 + £54.63 = £1875.63
Council Tax Band F – 2021/22: £2252 + £67.56 = £2319.56
Council Tax Band G – 2021/22: £2714 + £81.42 = £2795.42
Council Tax Band H – 2021/22: £3395 + £101.85 = £3497

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