Details of the agreed 2012-13 budget
At a special meeting today (Thursday), The Highland Council agreed to freeze the Council Tax for a fifth successive year and has confirmed a revenue budget of £602 million for 2012-13.
The tax for 2012-13 is: Band A: £775.33; Band B: £904.56; C: £1,033.78; Band D: £1,163; Band E: £1,421.44; Band F: £1,679.89; Band G: £1,938.33; Band H: £2,326.
Budget spending in 2012-13 will be:- Education Culture and Sport, £232,870,000; Health and Social Care, £130,556,000; Transport Environmental and Community Services, £62,977,000; Chief Executive’s Service, £24,987,000; Housing and Property, £9,663,000; Planning and Development, £8,615,000 and Finance, £7,309,000.
The Council also agreed to contribute £39,457,000 to police services and £14,787,000 to fire and rescue services.
Through its three-year budget setting process, the Council has identified savings of £18.6 million for 2012-13. There will be no need for new cuts and the Council is now in a position to invest £4.55 million in key frontline services. These include an extra £2 million to be spent on road maintenance, such as filling pot holes and improving drainage, and an extra £200,000 to support management in smaller primary schools. These are one-off additional payments in 2012-13.
On top of this the Council has agreed recurring additional spending as follows:-
• £1 million on keeping older people fit, healthy and safe at home;
• £650,000 on enhanced pupil support in the classroom;
• £250,000 on fostering and adoptions;
• £250,000 on children disability teams;
• £200,00 on employability/youth employment.
For the second year in succession, The Highland Council has agreed a council house rent increase below the rate of inflation. The average increase will be 1.9% which is 3.3% below inflation. This will see the average weekly rent increase by £1.26 from £66.19 to £67.45.
A 1.9% increase will also be applied to hostel rents, gypsy/traveller site pitches, garage and garage sites. For the second successive year there will be no increase in sheltered housing warden charges.