£825m investment in services - a ‘firm foundation

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A TOTAL of £825 million of investment in Council services for the next financial year was approved by councillors on Thursday in a budget the SNP Lib Dem administration say ‘builds a firm foundation for the future of Fife’.

Among the investments were an extra £4.5 million for social work and £9 million for roads maintenance.

Council tax was frozen for the fifth year in a row, while housing rents will go up by 4.6 per cent.

The Council also announced a £19 million savings programme to help combat the “challenges” to come as a funding gap of more than £80 million is predicted over the next three years.

Councillor Peter Grant, leader of the administration, said: “This budget helps us concentrate on our aim of making Fife a great place to live, work, visit and invest.

“We’ve got here through sound financial planning over the last five years and we’re in good shape to tackle the challenges to come.

“We have taken some difficult decisions including getting stricter on the amount of funding we give to other organisations and increasing some charges for services in line with inflation.

“We have however been able to keep some charges below inflation levels and council house rents will only increase by 4.6 per cent.”

Councillor Elizabeth Riches, depute leader, added: “This is a reality budget.

“It is about early intervention and about preparation.”