Renfrewshire Council

Council tax frozen as budget set for Renfrewshire

Creating a fairer Renfrewshire and improving outcomes for children and families was at the forefront of Renfrewshire Council's budget as it was set today (Thursday 29 February 2024).

The £549.287 million Renfrewshire Council budget sets out plans to build on the commitment made to tackle inequality and poverty as the Council support communities to recover and thrive following the pandemic. 

An additional £4 million was confirmed to give the green light for construction of a new Thorn Primary in Johnstone. This supplements the £10 million already allocated for the new school.  

There will also be £800,000 investment in artificial playing surfaces in sports facilities in Renfrewshire, recognising the importance of outdoor play and participation in sport. 

A continued drive to improve and maintain the roads network will see a total of £5million invested in Renfrewshire's roads and footpaths this year, adding to the £6.7 million investment committed by the council last year.  

In support of the council's £5 million Fairer Renfrewshire programme, a further £700,000 has been committed to support vulnerable local residents with investments including funding for the Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau's welfare rights service, an additional top-up for the Scottish Welfare Fund, and funding provided to ROAR - Connections for Life to help tackle the inequalities faced by older people in Renfrewshire. 

Funding will also be provided for a targeted programme of summer activities, including the provision of a healthy meal, for children and young people from low-income families, additional funding will enhance the award-winning Street Stuff programme, and the winter school clothing payment will be maintained for every child who needs it. 

To support the growth and ambition of the local cultural sector in Renfrewshire, which will now see have seen a decade of additional investment, £200,000 will add to existing resources to create a £1 million package of support for local artists and cultural organisations over the next three years. 

In setting the budget, councillors also agreed to freeze council tax rates at the current rates which means Band D households will pay £1,436.17 in 2024/25. 

Balancing the budget has been supported by £8.864 million of savings and using up to £6.4 million of reserves. 

Councillor John Shaw, Convener of Renfrewshire Council's Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, said: 

"Our budget builds on our commitment to supporting and protecting those who need it most as we create a fairer Renfrewshire which helps support our communities through the cost-of-living crisis and helps our children and young people achieve the best outcomes.  

"Despite the challenging circumstances, we are investing in support for families, children, young people and those on low-incomes, reaffirming our decade-long commitment to culture, investing in artificial surfaces for outdoor sports and play, and protecting the vital services our communities rely on. 

"We continue to face significant financial challenges as we deal with the increased cost to deliver vital services, including energy bills, fuel costs, goods, and staffing costs, but we have set a budget that seeks to protect all households in Renfrewshire throughout the forthcoming year and beyond." 

Further investments include every child in Renfrewshire between the ages of 2 and 5 continuing to receive a book every month thanks to further investment in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, funding to reaffirm our commitment to The Promise, and funding will be provided to the Renfrewshire schools' music service to celebrate the success of our young musicians. 

Building on previous substantial investment in our community halls, £130,000 will support refurbishment and repair work for community halls and £70,000 will be added to the existing Retail Improvement Fund, which continues to deliver significant improvements to shopfronts and premises across Renfrewshire. 

The council's award-winning Team Up to Clean Up programme has been boosted to continue the fantastic joint working between the council and local volunteers, and the successful environmental taskforce will see investment to continue its work to tackle fly tipping in Renfrewshire. 

Also approved by elected members at the budget meeting was a five-year investment totalling £281 million in Renfrewshire housing, with more than 1,200 homes set to see the benefit this year of improvements such as new kitchens and bathrooms, more energy efficient heating systems, replacement windows and roof repairs, as well as the building of new council houses. 

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: "In what are extremely challenging times for local government, we have set a budget that delivers for our families and communities that need it most. 

"We are ensuring they can access the financial support they need, while managing to further invest in our roads network, deliver improvements for more than 1,200 council homes, and continue to build on our partnership work with volunteers to improve our local environment.  

"We will continue to work hard to protect our vital services while striving to create a fairer Renfrewshire that people want to live, work, visit and invest in." 

The budget meeting also confirmed a 6% increase in rent levels for council tenants, following detailed consultation with more than 1440 tenants, which is equivalent to an average of £5.45 more per week, and an inflationary increase in charges for services of 5%. 

For more information, visit the budget section of the website.

Published Thursday 29 February 2024.