COUNCIL tax in Glasgow will go up by three per cent from April as part of the SNP’s council budget plans.

The council faces a £41million spending gap and City Treasurer Allan Gow has revealed the budget he plans to put forward.

It includes a range of savings, extra charges and also identifies a new investment strategy for community facilities.

However, he said: “No libraries, no swimming pools, no community facilities will be closing. If we close something, we will open a new facility.”

The plans, to be presented to the council tomorrow, will also see bins collected less frequently for thousands of homes.

READ MORE: Council tax to rise, bin pick-up changes and new community hubs

There will be an increase in council car park charges and charges for hall hires.

And an £2.50 extra environmental charge on ticket prices for concerts held in the city’s parks like TRNSMT and Summer Sessions.

The council tax hike is lower than the amount the council is allowed to increase the charge by.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay increased the cap to 4.79 per cent but Mr Gow said he didn’t want to use that power.

It will increase a Band C property by £34 a year.

Mr Gow said he doesn’t want to impose the full increase available to him.

He said: “We don’t think it is required at this stage. Glasgow council tax has been too high for too long. I think a 4.79 per cent increase is too high and too many people would struggle to pay it.”

The increase will bring in an extra £6.6m in the next year.

The bin collection changes are for properties with a main front door and collections will move from every two weeks to every three weeks.

The council thinks that many bins are being collected half empty, making the collections service inefficient.


Budget proposals key points

Total budget gap £40.9m

Measures include:

  • Use of council reserves £13m
  • Council tax increase of  three per cent to raise £6.6m
  • Social Work IJB savings £13m
  • Early years savings  £2.4m
  • Increase general waste collections to three-weekly – saving £275,000
  • Environmental levy for large park events to raise £650,000
  • Increase on street parking, agreed last year, to raise £450,000 this year
  • Hotel parking space validation scheme to raise £24,000​
  • Council transport fleet review  to save £250,000

Proposed investments:

  • £20m for Community hub model phase one
  • £23m in infrastructure fund
  • Extend school clothing grant to S5 and S6 pupils
  • Maintain investment in holiday hunger initiative
  • Replace red blaes pitches in all remaining primary schools with multi-use games areas

Council car park charges will go up by an average of 40p per hour and changes approved last year of on-street parking will raise almost half a million pounds.

The council is using £13m from its reserves. Mr Gow said: “We are getting more money in capital and revenue from the Scottish Government.

“The key pressure points for us are pay and inflation pressures and the equal pay settlement.”

The plans also include investment across the city.

The big idea is a £20m investment plan to begin developing a network of Community Hubs.

Mr Gow said that the options in a leaked paper that included closing swimming pools, community and leisure facilities and golf courses was not being taken forward.

Instead, in the future services will be re-provisioned so that any building that is closed will still see the services remain in the area.

He said: “We are moving to a multi-agency hub model. It could include libraries and pools.

Glasgow Times:

“We are taking a strategic view of our assets. We have got to review and re-invest.”

He said the plans for community hubs will be done in phases, with the £20m this year the beginning of a new  direction for planning how services are delivered in communities.

Mr Gow added: “The way we set up services across the city is not sustainable.

“We want a 21st century service for 21st century citizens.”

People can expect to see more co-location of services in one central facility.

It will lead to a reduction in the number of council buildings but the ambition is to retain all the necessary services.

Mr Gow added: “It is not just about buildings, it’s about services.”

Unions have been briefed on the proposals and while there are digesting the proposals, they have said it leaves the city short of cash.

Brian Smith, of Unison Glasgow branch, said: “As far as we can see, there’s still about £22m of cuts and service charge increases.

“The bulk of it in social work and education. This can’t go on. They have identified the property strategy to release money for future years.

“There is still money being taken out of Glasgow’s budget. 

“The principle is still there that the council needs to shout louder for more cash from the Scottish Government.”

The budget will be debated tomorrow at Glasgow City Council, where the other political parties are able to present their  alternative proposals.

Councillors will then take a vote on which of the proposals if any it accepts.