You can read about the record-levels of public feedback, which we received to the consultation on our draft proposals, in this earlier blog-post and the links therein.
The actual Reports for the Budget debate are now all available on-line via here, along with the Coalition Motion.
I think the motion speaks for itself ... and it will now be debated at the Budget Day Council Meeting, 10am on Thursday 21st January, to be webcast here.
There's just no doubt that, for the whole 17-years I've been a local Councillor, this is the most challenging budget we've ever had to set ... my own words, and those of the Council's Deputy Leader, made after receiving confirmation of the financial settlement, remain entirely valid:
Council Leader, Andrew Burns, said: “A reduction in revenue funding of the scale now being proposed, will undoubtedly have a negative impact on a whole range of vital services that local government is responsible for delivering: the children in our care, the elderly struggling with dementia whom we look after, and vulnerable adults whom we assist daily; all these individuals rely on the support that only a council can provide.
Council Deputy Leader, Sandy Howat, added: “A revenue cut of this scale would be very damaging for jobs and services within Scottish local government generally, and here in Edinburgh specifically – the harsh reality is that this will translate to real job cuts that hit real families, in real communities throughout our capital city. Everyone will be hurt by this.
I'll now replicate the 'main text' of our final draft motion for 2016/17 below (along with the two Appendices, which follow paragraph 5):
MOTION by the CAPITAL COALITION
Revenue Budget 2016/17, Capital Investment Framework 2016-2024,
Housing Revenue Account 2016-2021 and Budget Framework 2016-2020
Last year’s Capital Coalition budget was set in the context of continuing financial constraint and rising demand for Council services.
In 2016/17, we know that there will be even more challenges.
As the UK Conservative Government Spending Review was delayed until 25 November 2015, the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget was consequently later than usual. The Capital Coalition has sought to set a four-year budget framework to enable us to target services at the areas of greatest need and to provide stability to staff and citizens over future service provision. However, because of the UK Government’s cut in the Scottish Block Grant, the Government’s Financial Settlement sets out expenditure plans only for 2016/17. Consequently the City of Edinburgh Council, whilst setting out a four-year budget framework, is only able to agree the finalised budgetary detail for 2016/17. For following years of the framework we will need confirmation of future UK and Scottish Government financial settlements.
We have taken account of the Scottish Government’s commitment to continuing the council tax freeze. Along with its funding for health and police, which taken with the decision by Westminster to remove the National Insurance rebate and additional teachers superannuation costs, means that local government funding overall will reduce by around 7% in real terms in 2016/17.
The Commission on Local Tax Reform reported in December on the back of which the Scottish Government announced that they would publish their plans to reform local taxation in the New Year. Health and Social Care continues to demand greater resource. Education and care for children remains a priority. We do not intend to cut services however, what we do want to see is efficient and effective ways of delivering them. This is exactly what the Capital Coalition has implemented through the transformation programme – greater efficiency and effectiveness. With Scottish Government spending priorities focusing around health, schools and police we as a Council have tried to prioritise areas of spend where we know the citizens of Edinburgh want us to invest.
Despite the challenging financial situation, the Capital Coalition has prioritised a programme of specific investment over the last 12 months based on our six strategic themes: highlights of this work are listed in more detail in Appendix 1.
But the biggest change of all has been the transformation of this organisation, which employs over 18,000 staff and provides a wide range of services, each one touching the lives of many citizens. Appendix 2 also illustrates the wide-range of efficiencies that the Capital Coalition has developed, within the context of an extremely challenging financial environment.
The UK economic environment is improving and increasing employment is helping to offset spending pressures. Edinburgh’s economy continues to do well although the climate for local government funding is becoming even more challenging. The pressure of a further £16.7million reduction in our overall budget, in addition to £68.7million already assumed, has led to the Capital Coalition reviewing savings proposals while protecting key services and outcomes.
The projected challenge we face is to make budget savings of £85.4million for 2016/17 and at least £147million over the period to 2020. The Financial Settlement increases the savings requirement in 2016/17 by £16.7million. These additional savings will be made by:
· Removing the additional £5.9million demography money included within the Council’s budget for social care given the £250million increase provided by Scottish Government to Health and Social Care partnerships;
· Accelerating savings of £3.1million through the transformation programme, bringing savings forward from 2017/18;
· A revision to the additional Health and Social Care framework investment, recognising the current year’s monitoring position providing £3million;
· Amending the level of required provision for pay awards given planned staff reductions providing £0.9m;
· Using £3.3million of the budget ‘headroom’ to close the funding gap with the remaining sum of £2.5million being used to support council priorities;
· Saving an additional £0.5million to be funded from reduction in energy consumption and
· Agreeing that any remaining gap to be funded by an increase of 4% in charges.
Other activity includes:
· Working with partners to improve infrastructure such as roads, parks, cycleways and pavements so we can all get around the city;
· Designing services to meet growing demand from vulnerable older people and rising school rolls;
· Analysing the City’s future transport requirements;
· Funding changes to both National Insurance and Teachers pensions which requires £10million and £1.3million respectively in 2016/17;
· Reducing energy consumption by 10% in 2016/17 to deal with rising costs and carbon taxes;
· Alleviating fuel poverty by working in partnership to deliver an energy plan for the city in 2016/17 and
· Continuously monitoring our debt and investment portfolios to ensure we are operating effectively and efficiently and that any savings in interest payments are fed back into services.
Outcome of the consultation
In line with previous years, the Capital Coalition has given the people of Edinburgh the opportunity to have their say in the budget process. The consultation was launched on 1 October and once again Edinburgh’s citizens have risen to the challenge with over 4,000 responses. The quality of information received has been extremely high and allowed us to refine our proposals.
As a direct result of the consultation we have:
· Removed the draft proposal to reduce street crossing patrols;
· Reinstated the night noise team;
· Removed the draft proposal to reduce the size of in-house home care service;
· Concluded that the redesign of day care services for adults with learning disabilities should not proceed;
· Removed the proposal for a reduction in community centre staff;
· Agreed to continue to provide music tuition in schools in 2016/17;
· Amended the proposal to review support staff in special schools, ensuring maintenance of both staff numbers and service delivery;
· Removed the £0.5million proposal to review family and pupil support;
· Invested £15.069million in roads, pavements and cycleways to continue to make it easier for people to get around the city;
· Funded the Cycling, Walking, Safer Street Initiative to a level of £540,000;
· Allocated 9% of both the net capital expenditure and the net revenue expenditure of the Transport Division of the Council to cycling and
· Listened to the comments coming out of the ‘Invest to Save’ exercise and as a result limited the council rent increase to 2% in 2016/17.
As a Capital Coalition we have also decided to:
· Increase the funding available to invest in our property estate by £3million;
· Invest in a new state-of-the-art CCTV system;
· Realign and revise our strategy on income maximisation to generate £1million of additional funds in 2016/17 and
· Work with partners to ensure that the Council receives appropriate remuneration from its portfolio of companies including increased dividend payments.
None of these decisions have been taken lightly. We do, however, continue to take forward the six strands which form our Contract with the Capital and into that we have woven the Council’s transformation programme – these proposals are all contained within Appendix 2.
Additional capital expenditure of £13million was approved last year for 2015/16. An estimated £3.95million will be available over the period of the capital investment programme This budget will focus on delivering in 2016/17:
· £15.069million on roads and pavements;
· £9.8million on street lighting including LED replacement programme;
· £11.6million on the Water of Leith Flood Prevention Scheme phase 2;
· £19.5million on National Housing Trust;
· £30million on schools;
· A robust business case to replace the ageing Meadowbank Sports Centre;
· £4million on Royston care home and
· £24million on property maintenance and asset management.
Continuous monitoring of the Council’s capital programme will be undertaken to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget. This programme will be reported through Finance and Resources Committee and referred to the Governance Risk and Best Value Committee for scrutiny.
As indicated earlier, the economic environment may be improving with a growing economy and increasing employment, but the climate for local government funding is becoming even more challenging. The pressure of a further £16.7million reduction in our overall budget, in addition to over £60million already assumed, has led to the Capital Coalition reviewing savings proposals while protecting key services and outcomes.
Savings have thus been the subject of much debate over the last four months and will concentrate on:
· Workforce Transformation;
· Reductions in fleet;
· Reducing sickness absence;
· Property rationalisation;
· Reduction in carbon tax;
The total being £85.4million in 2016/17.
Risks and Challenges
The Council continues to face significant challenges which are clearly defined in the Revenue Budget report 2016/17, Risks and Reserves (Appendix 7). These will be actively managed and reported through Council/Committee. The Council’s top 4 risks are as follows:
1. maintenance of property infrastructure;
2. cyber security and data privacy;
3. integration of health care and social services and
4. increasing service demand due to demography.
It should be noted that to mitigate these risks the Council has invested £12million per annum.
Future Budget Development
The Council further agrees to:
· Prioritise and target areas of spend in order to provide the best quality services for the people of Edinburgh through funding of the localities model:
· Continue with the implementation of the transformation programme focusing on the following areas:
o Business Support;
o Asset management;
o Customer services and
o Locality working.
· Reduce the headcount of the organisation by using, as far as possible, the mechanisms of Voluntary Redundancy (VR) and Voluntary Severance (VS) and by doing so focus the outputs of the Council into the areas of service prioritisation;
· Continue to work with partner agencies to co-produce, maximise outputs and deliver the highest quality integrated services;
· Work with the Health and Social Care Integrated Joint Board to deliver improved services;
· Use any potential underspend in Property Conservation to fund infrastructure repairs in the Council’s asset portfolio;
· As part of the drive towards greater partnership working we instruct the Chief Executive to prepare a report for the March 2016 Finance and Resources Committee on the benefits, outcomes, management and improved transparency of various funding streams including grants, co-production and contracts for the voluntary sector;
· Continue to investigate alternative sources of income in line with the findings of the Commission on Local Tax Reform report;
· In 2016 close off the Property Conservation legacy issue which has caused such reputational damage to the Council;
· Instruct the Chief Executive to allocate £100,000 to develop and maintain a Common Good Asset Register and deliver a report to the Council in June 2016 detailing progress;
· Continue to work with Police Scotland through the agreed Service Level Agreement to ensure that we get the support we require both as Scotland’s capital city and a city of communities each with their own specific needs and instruct the Chief Executive to review the Service Level Agreement with Police Scotland annually to ensure efficient and effective delivery of service;
· Reduce energy consumption across the Council estate by 10% in cash terms in 2016/17 and to work with partners to develop an energy reduction unit in the Council which will deliver net savings of £1million in 2016/17;
· Work with communities, organisations and individuals to ensure greater commitment to participatory budgeting firstly at a local level then moving on to a strategic level and
· Establish a mid-term budget review meeting of the Council which will monitor progress against the Coalition financial commitments and act as an early warning system to highlight potential risks.
· The report by the Acting Executive Director of Resources setting out the Revenue and Capital Budget framework;
· The report by the Acting Executive Director of Resources setting out the potential Equality rights and Carbon risks associated with the Revenue Budget framework;
· The consultation undertaken and the continuing commitment to increasing participatory budgeting in setting future budgets;
· The continuing review of the role of the Third Sector including partnership working, grants and the mechanism for future delivery of services;
· The impact on the Council’s estate of the implementation of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) 2015 Act and
· The outcomes of the transformation programme and the operational function to deliver high quality, efficient and effective services within a pre-determined budget limit.
· Appendix 1
· Appendix 2
· The Revenue Budget set out in the reports, subject to the adjustments in Appendix 3 to this motion;
· The 2016/21 Capital Budget as set out in the report by the Acting Executive Director of Resources;
· A band ‘D’ Council Tax of £1,169;
· The Council Tax and Rating Resolution set out in Appendix 4 to this motion;
· The schedule of charges for Council Services as set out in Appendix 5 to this motion;
· The prudential indicators as set out in Appendix 6 to this motion and
· The recommendation by the Executive Director of Place to increase rents by 2% and the outline 5-year Housing Revenue Account Capital programme for 2016/2021.
Councillor Alasdair Rankin
Councillor Bill Cook
Ensuring every child has the best start in life
Ensuring that every child has a first-class education is one of our most important pledges. We currently spend £234million on education and we will be increasing this funding by £1.8million a year to meet the costs of an increasing number of school pupils. We believe that we can generate additional income by opening up our school facilities to appropriate groups and individuals.
Inspectors have judged education services in Edinburgh to be good. They have commended the strong political and managerial leadership of schools, improving exam results, strong leadership of the Curriculum for Excellence and good engagement of parents and pupils. Exam results are improving every year:
· 85% of pupils in S4 achieved 5 or more awards at Level 3, an increase of 3% since 2011;
· 93% of pupils achieved Level 3 in Literacy and Numeracy by the end of S5, an increase of 12% since 2011;
· 61% of pupils gained 1 Higher or more by the end of S6, an increase of 7% since 2011 and
· 47% of pupils gained 3 Highers or more by the end of S6, an increase of 5% since 2011.
School leaver destinations have seen significant improvement year on year with the number of young people leaving school in October 2015 to a positive destination in education, employment or training at the highest it has ever been at 92.3%.
In addition, the Council is investing in new accommodation for primary schools:
· £6million to secure the cost of land to provide a permanent solution to primary school capacity and accommodation pressures in South Edinburgh;
· £5.3million to provide a new gym and dining hall, ten new class spaces and a new 3G pitch at Kirkliston Primary School;
· £3million to provide new halls at Cramond and East Craigs and extensions at Sciennes and Towerbank;
· £4.1million to provide replacement gym and nursery facilities at Leith Primary School and make the remainder of the existing Duncan Place building secure and
· £0.6million to provide a new gym hall at Buckstone Primary School.
The wave 3 school replacement programme involves total investment of around £128million:
· £32million for a new Boroughmuir High School;
· £38million for a new James Gillespie’s High;
· £38million for a new Portobello High School including £1million to deliver a new park on part of the existing site;
· An estimated £12million for a new St John’s RC Primary School and
· An estimated £8million for a new St Crispin’s Special School.
· The Council has approved funding of £11million towards the estimated total cost of £30million to replace Queensferry High School and
· The Council has approved £0.7million towards the early design fees for a new secondary school in Craigmillar with delivery of a new facility within a 5 year programme.
Reducing poverty, inequality and deprivation
We continue to provide assistance to people who find themselves in difficult circumstances. Through the Emergency Fund we have retained our pledge to ensure that no-one is evicted from their Council tenancy through rent arrears due to the Under Occupancy Tax.
Our commitment to developing the economy and helping people back to work will enable individuals to train for the types of jobs which will support both them and the wider city region economy.
By working with the Third Sector we will grant aid projects to develop community hubs which will have additional funding of £250,000 to allow them to meet local needs. This additional funding to come from the Department of Place through budget realignment.
We have protected services for vulnerable children by:
· maintaining strong child protection services which are judged by the Care Inspectorate as being amongst the strongest in Scotland;
The quality of our residential children's homes is consistently judged to be very good and we are rebuilding two homes over the coming years.
Providing for Edinburgh’s economic growth
The Edinburgh Guarantee is a vision that all sectors in the city will work together to ensure that every young person in Edinburgh will leave school with the choice of a job, training or further education opportunity available to them.
The Modern Apprenticeships are a key part of the Edinburgh Guarantee. To date the Council has supported 210 apprentices.
Last year 39 apprentices graduated and this year that number has risen to 54. The Council also has 78 apprentices who are still working towards completing their apprenticeships.
To date, Economic Development Service (EDS) has assisted around 3,190 people into work and learning.
In 2015, EDS has supported the creation and safeguarding of 2,952 jobs.
The Edinburgh 12 has demonstrated that the value of the Council’s collaborative working with the development community. Considerable progress has been made in advancing all 12 sites.
Projected economic outputs are:
· Approximately 1,822 residential units
· Gross Value Added (GVA) of approximately £2billion;
· Up to 19,021 FTE jobs and 6,777 construction jobs;
· Approximately 2,074 hotel bedrooms;
· Approximately 128,400 sq ft of Grade A office space and
· Approximately 120,400 sq ft of retail and leisure space.
Examples of achievements to date as a result of this partnership working include:
· Edinburgh St James - partnership working between the Council, Scottish Government, developer and investors resulted in the creation of the Growth Accelerator Model (GAM). The value of the works funded via the GAM will be £61.4million;
· New Waverley - collaboration between the Council and developer has resulted in a fund of £200,000 being made available for physical improvements to the site and surrounding area, which will benefit residents, businesses and visitors;
· The Haymarket Edinburgh - the Council has facilitated high-level discussions between the developer and Network Rail, which have enabled progression of this build and
· King’s Stables Road and India Buildings are progressing well and will release significant capital receipts.
Small Medium Enterprise (SME) opportunities
Creative Exchange Leith provides 80 workspaces for individuals, groups or businesses and is a hub for creative talent in the city.
Business Gateway also supports SMEs and offers access to free business support services, gives assistance and impartial advice to people starting or growing their business.
Creative Industries and SMEs
The official opening of the Edinburgh-Shenzhen Creative Industries Incubator in Shenzhen, China took place in May 2015. The opening was attended by 10 Edinburgh Companies and six of them are planning to occupy space within the incubator.
The Council is working in partnership with neighbouring authorities (East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, and West Lothian Councils) and other partners on the development of a City Region Deal bid to the Westminster and Scottish Governments.
This City Deal aims to accelerate regional economic growth and reduce inequalities, by securing additional investment and decision-making powers from the United Kingdom and Scottish Governments to stimulate private sector investment, drive innovation, unlock synergies, and deliver the improvements to our regional infrastructure and skills base necessary to achieve a step change in economic performance.
An outline bid was submitted to the Westminster and Scottish Governments on 4th September 2015, with further information provided on 18th December 2015, and we are now awaiting a formal response so the proposition can be taken to the next stage of development and any budgetary implications for the Council quantified.
On award of a City Deal in 2016/17 further detailed work will be undertaken to provide a financial strategy to support the project.
Strengthening and supporting our communities and keeping them safe
The budget motion of 2014 identified £1million capital to upgrade the current Public Space analogue CCTV system to a new digital platform. The CCTV Investment Project Manager is working with the Council’s new ICT partners CGI to produce an Outline Business Specification, which will set out the proposed options for upgrading the system.
The development of an open protocol operating system will allow integration of other Council CCTV services to provide a single more efficient service; This integrated model will also include our partners who currently have access to and usage of the system from their respective locations – Lothian Buses, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Urban Traffic Control. Consideration will also be given to working more closely with other CCTV providers, such as tram and business improvement districts.
The high cost of privately renting or owning a home in Edinburgh is increasing the cost of living for many families on low to middle incomes already struggling to cope. This is why the HRA budget sets out the Capital Coalition’s ambitious plans to tackle the city’s housing crisis by expanding the Council led house building programme to build 8,000 new affordable homes over 10 years. This investment will generate benefits to the local and national economy of around £2billion, sustain 1500 new jobs and bring in additional council tax revenue at a time when the council’s resources are severely constrained.
Discussions have taken place with not-for-profit Housing Associations who have agreed to match the council’s commitment bringing the total number of new affordable homes in the city up to 16,000 over 10 years.
Existing council tenants are among the most hard pressed financially and we have consulted widely with them in preparing this budget. The consultation showed that increased house building was the top priority for tenants, followed by investment to reduce their energy costs through replacement heating, cheaper energy and better advice services.
The strategy will also look at other measures that will have a big impact on tenants cost of living, including cheaper broadband, discount cards and making land available to support tenants to grow fruit and vegetables.
All this will be achieved through a combination of making the housing service leaner; making efficiencies in service delivery and through modest rent increases of 2%, ensuring that we keep rents affordable, whilst delivering tenants priorities to reduce their cost of living.
Ensuring Edinburgh and its residents are well cared for
· The Shared Repairs Service enters a new phase of its development following a successful pilot scheme in 2015. Phase 2 of the Shared Repairs roll-out commences in April 2016;
· The Castle Crags day care and respite service for people with autism and a learning disability is now operational and is the first of its kind in Scotland, offering 20 day support service places and overnight accommodation for six people;
· The Council working with its partner organisations opened the Milestone residential unit for people with alcohol related brain damage (ARBD);
· The Firrhill Technology Hub has developed an innovative approach to help disabled people maximise their independence by using mobile computing devices;
· The Royston care home for older people will open by June 2016, offering state of the art facilities from 60 beds and able to look after residents whose higher levels of need mean many other Edinburgh care homes are unsuitable;
· Use the integration of Health and Social Care and the establishment of the Integrated Joint Board to deliver effective services at a lower cost;
· Improve services for people with complex needs through the “Inclusive Edinburgh” review, many of whom may struggle with homelessness, unemployment, drug and alcohol problems, mental or physical ill-health, and who are often the victims of violence and
· Tackle domestic abuse though a range of process improvements across all relevant agencies to ensure services intervene early, engage with all family members, coordinate provision and deliver better outcomes.
Maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in Edinburgh
The changing face of libraries is reflected in the wide range of services on offer. The Capital Coalition continues to support the services which our libraries provide and whilst a review of library buildings will take place, the service will continue to develop along the lines of the projects which are highlighted below:
· VIP – award winning service for visually impaired people;
· GET online: BYOD (bring your own device) digital training in 6 neighbourhood libraries and other community settings and
· YouthTalk: award winning youth engagement partnership project. YouthTalk provides opportunities for young people to have a say and involvement in the delivery and development of local services.
Investment and importance of festivals to the city
Edinburgh is the world’s leading festival city, attracting over 4 million visits to the capital each year which delivered an economic impact of £170million for Edinburgh and £260million for Scotland. Edinburgh’s festivals are a unique cultural phenomenon and only the Olympics and football World Cup exceed the number of tickets sold in the capital each year. Including Hogmanay, the Council invests £4.3million in 11 of the 12 annual festivals which results in the creation of 5242 full-time jobs in Edinburgh and contributes £170million to the Edinburgh economy.
Sports infrastructure improvements:
· Meadowbank Sports Centre is the biggest sport infrastructure project being progressed by the Council at present. The latest report, indicates a total cost of £41.1million. The Capital Coalition will consider the funding package for this project on the basis that Sportscotland contributes at least £7million;
· A new cycling hub at Hunters’ Hall Park continues to make good progress with the Council investing £1.2million. Once complete, facilities at the new cycling hub will include an outdoor velodrome, cycle speedway track and bmx track as well as two 3G pitches;
· The National Performance Centre for Sport at Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus is making excellent progress and is scheduled to be completed in 2016. The new venue will include an indoor full-size 3G pitch with spectator seating, outdoor grass and 3G pitches as well as an indoor sports hall, gym and sports science facilities. The total project cost is over £30million with the Council investing £2.7million in partnership funding and
· After many years in development we are now moving toward opening up the Council’s sports assets to the wider community with the management of many facilities transferring to Edinburgh Leisure. Edinburgh Leisure is developing a detailed business plan on this transfer and a progress report including a timeline for a phased changeover is scheduled for Spring 2016.
Despite the challenging financial situation, the Capital Coalition has prioritised a programme of specific investment over the last 12 months based on our six strategic themes: highlights of this work are listed below:
· Expanded the council-led house building programme started in 2008, to 22 sites in the city building nearly 3,000 homes and making it one of the largest house builders in the country;
· Signed a 7-year £185million ICT contract with CGI to improve services across the board from payments to schools access;
· Delivered a balanced budget in 2014/15 in spite of huge additional pressures such as the growth in demand for adult social care with a balanced budget projected for 2015/16;
· Commenced construction on new high schools at Portobello, James Gillespie’s, and Boroughmuir, a new special school - St Crispin’s and St John’s new Primary School;
· Developed a transformation programme which is targeted at delivering at least £73million in annual savings by 2019/20;
· Developed a successful Service Level Agreement with Police Scotland which is delivering localised police services where people want them, in the heart of the community;
· Worked with Edinburgh Trams to ensure that the Tram service exceeds patronage and revenue targets;
· Put in place a mechanism to improve our generation of income through new and innovative sources with a target of £1million set for 2016/17;
· Discussed with the Scottish Government issues following publication of the Commission on Local Tax Reform report;
· Established the Health and Social Care Integrated Joint Board for better, more efficient delivery of health and social care services;
· Moved towards a substantial resolution of the complex legacy issues surrounding the Property Care and Property Conservation services and initiated the new Shared Repairs Service;
· Established a register for the City’s Common Good assets in order that they be monitored and protected;
· Continued to support economic growth;
· Improved employment levels especially among school leavers and those seeking employment;
· Developed a culture of promoting sustainability and published a Sustainable Energy Action Plan;
· Proposed a detailed implementation plan for the re-structuring of Asset Management including facilities management, estate rationalisation, the Council’s investment portfolio and asset conditions report and
· Started work on a further new care home;