A FIVE per cent council tax rise, savings of £3.8million and hundreds of millions in investment for the next two decades will be put forward for Clackmannanshire's budget this week.

The SNP administration will be seeking agreement on the Clackmannanshire Council General Services Revenue Budget for 2023-24, with a total spend at more than £152m

Also part of the proposals will be more than £235m for the Capital Investment Programme 2023-24 to 2042-43, outlining estimated costs for key proposals, such as the wellbeing hub and swimming pool in Alloa.

The budget comes amid “huge challenges” for the local authority, as outlined in the budget foreword by council leader Ellen Forson.

She wrote: “Clackmannanshire Council, like every public, private and third sector organisation, is facing huge challenges including the effects of inflation, wage increases, escalating energy costs and economic headwinds.

“In dealing with these challenges – just like every household in Clackmannanshire – councillors are faced with difficult decisions in setting our local budget.”

She detailed how the council's energy costs alone have risen by some £877,000 and spoke of the £9.6m budget gap the local authority must plug in order to achieve a balanced budget – a legal requirement.

Each one per cent increase in council tax raises less than a quarter million, with council tax funding around 18 percent of the budget.

The council leader wrote: “However, to minimise the council tax increase to the proposed five per cent, we need to reduce costs elsewhere.

“That ultimately means changing the services we provide and reducing overheads.

“These are not easy decisions to make as we know this will have impacts on local people and communities.

“We are making decisions which protect areas such as education, social work and health & social care which most people will understand.

“But that equates to roughly two-thirds of the council’s budget and ultimately means bigger reductions to services delivered by the remaining third of the budget.

“We are also mindful of the challenges faced by our communities which is why prioritising the tackling of poverty and other social inequalities continues to be our top priority.”

Excluding water and sewerage charges, which are not set by the local authority, the Band D council tax charge will be £1,410.96 for 2023-24.

Council papers noted that a council tax increase of three per cent is planned for future years.

With planned savings of £3.8m, the budget gap still stands at nearly £5.8m.

To close the gap, the council will be asked to utilise £3.4m from uncommitted general reserves and £1.2m of capital receipts – money from asset sales – along with more than £1.1m in service concessions.

The latter relates to the public private partnerships (PPP) contract for the Wee County's three academies.

Thanks to updated guidance, the council can extend the current repayment term from 30 years to 50 years, reducing the annual cost by £1m for the next 15 years.

Annual council tax charges (excluding water and sewerage) proposed for 2023-24:


BAND A (Up to £27,000) £940.64

BAND B (£27,001 to £35,000) £1,097.41

BAND C (£35,001 to £45,000) £1,254.19

BAND D (£45,001 to £58,000) £1,410.96

BAND E (£58,001 to £80,000) £1,853.84

BAND F (£80,001 to £106,000) £2,292.81

BAND G (£106,001 to £212,000) £2,763.13

BAND H (Over £212,000) £3,456.85