South Lanarkshire Council has been meeting to decide its budget for the coming financial year, starting in April 2019.
It looks likely that the council will raise the area’s Council Tax rates by three per cent over all bands, repeating last year’s increase following a nine year freeze.
As previously reported, the council faces finding £13m-worth of savings and today (Wednesday) the council’s executive committee consider a range of options drawn up by their finance officials.
The now-SNP controlled authority is continuing the council’s long-held policy of no compulsory redundancies but looks likely to shed the equivalent of 140 posts in the coming year, mainly through not replacing staff who have left or retired.
The council department where some of the largest savings are being found - £1,408,000 in total - is leisure services.
This is being found in many and varied ways; for example, Lanark’s Kildare Park and Carluke’s Stonedyke Park’s football pitches will no longer be maintained as ‘formal’ playing surface but for casual general use. Throughout Clydesdale any public sloping grassy areas will no longer be cut by the council but allowed to return to their natural state. This won’t only save £7500 a year but fits the council’s biodiversity policy.