2023/24 Budget Agreed by South Ayrshire Council
South Ayrshire Council have today (Wednesday 1 March) agreed a budget which balances the books and invests in key areas such as tourism and the local economy.
A total capital investment programme of £447 million is being proposed for our towns and villages over the next 12 years. We're also investing £1 million in every ward in South Ayrshire to make improvements that will benefit communities from Barassie to Ballantrae, and beyond.
Our first-class golf facilities are a fantastic draw for residents and visitors alike, and £5 million will be invested to upgrade Darley and Belleisle Golf Courses over the next three years to ensure they are kept in top condition for players.
Plans for The International Ayr Show - Festival of Flight are now well underway and will form part of an exciting calendar of events this year, bringing a real boost to the local area. Our stunning beaches, shorefronts and promenades will also benefit from investment to allow us to continue to attract visitors from across Scotland and further afield.
We want to make sure everyone has every opportunity to stay active, fit and healthy, and £10 million is being invested in the Citadel Leisure Centre over the next four years to improve the facility.
Making sure that residents are looked after and can access the care they need is a key priority, so £96 million is being invested in our Health and Social Care Partnership, an increase of 3.4% on previous years.
We want to make sure that our young people have the best possible start in life, so £2.6 million will be spent to improve attainment across the area and over £9 million will be invested in the expansion of Early Learning and Childcare.
Supporting local businesses to thrive is vital for the South Ayrshire economy, and we're continuing with our involvement in the Scotland Loves Local South Ayrshire Gift Card scheme. We're also driving inward investment with a continued investment of £88 million into the Ayrshire Growth Deal and committing a further £55 million for regeneration activity within the project.
This year also sees the introduction of South Ayrshire Council's third carbon budget. Our Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy will be refreshed and include the introduction of new targets which will strengthen our actions and decision-making processes.
Following a review of a number of options including the feedback received in our budget survey, Councillors made the difficult decision to increase Council Tax by 5%. This is below the current rate of inflation and is vital so that we can continue to provide our essential frontline services.
Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Martin Dowey said: "Despite many financial variables, I'm pleased we've been able to deliver a balanced budget for the year 2023/24.
"As the cost-of-living crisis continues to affect us all, I know the decision to raise Council Tax may not be welcomed by residents. However, it has been unavoidable in order for us to continue to deliver the services that matter most to our communities.
"The people of South Ayrshire have been at the forefront of our minds as we made our decisions, and I'm confident that we've been able to deliver for them.
Councillor Ian Davis, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Finance, HR and ICT said: "This budget has been developed against a very challenging background, but I believe our decisions have demonstrated our commitment to the people of South Ayrshire.
"We've sheltered our people, our staff and the services people rely on from the financial pressures as much as we possibly could, and focused on making positive investments across the whole Council area."
You can find out more about our 2023/24 budget on our website.