Council budget invests in ambitious infrastructure projects

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East Renfrewshire Council has unveiled plans to spend £212m over the next eight years on a range of ambitious capital projects as part of the budget plan for 2019/20.

These include:

·£24m on five new nurseries in Busby, Clarkston, Eaglesham, Thornliebank and Newton Mearns

· New £15m-state-of-the-art primary school in Maidenhill, Newton Mearns

· New £30m leisure and learning campus in Neilston

· £15m of new money over the next five years to improve roads infrastructure

· Improved leisure centre in Eastwood

· New sports pavilions at Crookfur and Overlee worth a total of £1.7m

· 240 new council houses

· Greenlaw business centre in Newton Mearns

· £500,000 over two years to improve CCTV

· Creating integrated centre of excellence for older people at Bonnyton House care home

· Investing £2m to deliver Frank’s Law and new Carers’ Act

When the council set at three-year budget last year, it had to address a budget shortfall of £28.6m but due to new pressures to support staff pay awards and increases in superannuation payments for teachers, it is now facing a £32.8m shortfall for the period 2018-21.

Significant savings were delivered last year and £9.3m of savings are already planned for 2019/20.

The council was still facing a £1.9m budget shortfall for the year ahead but today decided to fund that shortfall from its own reserves. This means there will be no new additional savings required from frontline services for 2019/20 on top of those already agreed. The council also confirmed no compulsory redundancies would be required in the coming financial year.

East Renfrewshire Council Leader, Councillor Tony Buchanan, said: “Our ambition very much remains to deliver the very best for our residents and a number of our ambitious projects will start to deliver real change for the better over the next 12 months.

“Further significant capital investment in the years ahead will ensure East Renfrewshire remains a great place to live in, work in and visit.

“The Budget I have presented protects important frontline services and highlights our future investment in improving the lives of everyone in East Renfrewshire.”