This week, our Council unanimously agreed its budget and set the council tax level for 2022/23.
We recognise the income challenges facing local people but, by increasing council tax by 3%, we’re asking local residents to pay a little more so that we can invest in our local priorities such as schools, roads, addressing poverty, and tackling the climate emergency.
The majority of local residents will pay no more than 71p a week extra in council tax. For Bands A to D this will be offset by a government grant of £150.
Working together with communities and strategic partners, our Council has been at the forefront of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our region has faced many challenges over the past 2 years and our focus has now shifted towards recovery.
Following the Local Government Finance Settlement, our Council was faced with an £8.5m funding gap. Despite the fnancial pressures facing us, this is a budget that protects local jobs and services.
The Education and Learning directorate budget will increase by £7.2m. Although Dumfries and Galloway is experiencing a fall in school rolls, the budget increases teacher numbers. We expect to employ an additional 10 teachers and 14 support for learning assistants.
We were one of the frst Council’s in the UK to declare a Climate Emergency. We’ve already decarbonised 25% of our car feet and we’re committed to achieving Net Zero by 2025. This budget allocates an additional £270k over the next 3 years to support key green infrastructure projects.
Hi Ho Silver!
A team with strong roots in Dumfries and Galloway has won a silver medal at the Winter Olympics. 4 of the silver medal-winning men’s curling team hail from Dumfries and Galloway: Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie, Hammy McMillan Jr, and Ross Whyte.
Meanwhile, one of the gold medal-winning women’s team, Vicky Wright also hails from the region. Council Leader Elaine Murray said: “Congratulations to both teams on their historic achievements. The hard work and dedication to excellence that goes into achieving such success is an inspiration. We’re blessed with having excellent curling facilities in Lockerbie, Stranraer and Dumfries Ice Bowl.
“These facilities, the active schools Curling’s Cool programme, and the Council’s partnership work with Scottish Curling and the region’s clubs provide us with every chance of building on this success.
Maybe, in 20 years’ time, there’ll be a new generation of people with Olympic dreams, inspired by the exploits of local heroes such as Grant Hardie, Hammy McMillan Jr, Bobby Lammie, Ross Whyte, and Vicky Wright.”
Depute Leader Rob Davidson said: “It really is superb to see people many of us know competing on the world stage and bringing home gold and silver Olympic medals.”