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South Ayrshire Council Sets 2024/25 Budget

Budget 2024/25

South Ayrshire Council have today (Thursday 29 February) agreed a budget for 2024/25 which focuses on generating income and protecting our vital services.

We're pleased to let residents know that, following a review of a number of options, Council Tax has been frozen for the next financial year. This means that the cost for each band will remain the same rate for 2024/25. 

We want to make sure South Ayrshire is an attractive destination to live, work and visit, and for our residents to take pride in living in the region. We're therefore proposing a capital investment programme of £408m for our towns and villages over the next 12 years. This includes additional investment of £22m for Ayr Town Centre, and £2m each for Maybole, Troon and Prestwick over the coming years.

We want to make sure that everyone benefits from high quality education and is supported to learn and fulfil their potential, so we're investing £2.6m in education to help improve attainment across our schools. We're also allocating additional funding to our free school meals programme, and to ongoing works at the new Girvan Primary School and Maybole Community Campus. 

A key priority is making sure that everyone can access the care they need, so we're investing £100m in the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) - a 9.1% increase on previous years. £22m of funding will also be allocated to the re-development of the former Hourstons Department Store for HSCP service users and staff. 

We want to make sure our residents have every opportunity for play, sport and recreation. A range of upgrades will be made to the gym facilities at Troon Swimming Pool to extend the existing fitness suite, including the provision of a bespoke studio space along-with refurbishment of the changing accommodation and reception area. Belleisle Golf Course will also receive additional funding as part of a programme of enhancements across our golfing estate. 

Sustainability, climate change and biodiversity are cross cutting themes in our Council Plan 2023-2028, and this year we're introducing our fourth carbon budget. We're continuing work to refresh our Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy, introducing new targets and strengthening our actions and decision-making processes. Our Neighbourhood Services 'Hit Squads' will also be introduced on a permanent basis, helping to transform areas in need of TLC from Barassie to Ballantrae.

As part of the Council's plans to generate more income, in July this year we'll be introducing a £50 charge for garden waste collections (based on servicing one bin per household). More information about this service will be available for residents soon. 

Part of this year's budget was considering a programme of activities designed to address savings targets over the next two years. These proposals are now available to view in our budget book here, and will be put forward for consultation in due course.  

Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Martin Dowey said: "This budget has been developed against a financially challenging background, but despite this I'm pleased we've been able to balance the books.

"Although we have savings to make, we are aware of the financial hardship the cost-of-living crisis has caused for many local people, and we hope the Council Tax freeze will help with this.  

"Community engagement is really important to us. We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to influence and contribute to the decisions being made, so I'd encourage all residents to participate in our budget consultation."

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Finance, ICT and Procurement, Councillor Ian Davis said: "In this budget we have prioritised protecting our essential services while focusing on income generation for future years. 

"There will be challenges in the coming years, but that's why we are planning ahead and proposing a range of ways that we can address our savings targets. The public can provide their feedback on these proposals by taking part in our budget consultation, which is open until 30 June." 

Our budget consultation is available on our website.