1,000 new homes pledged as South Lanarkshire Council freezes Council Tax
South Lanarkshire Council has unveiled plans to double its house building programme to 1,000 new homes as it joined two other local authorities in Scotland to yesterday announce a voluntarily freeze of the basic rate of Council Tax.
Inverclyde and Renfrewshire councils also confirmed that they would not be increasing bills, despite an opportunity to raise them by up to 3%, while Glasgow, Angus, Fife and Highland councils opted to increase rates by the maximum which they are allowed to do so for the next financial year.
South Lanarkshire Council leader, Eddie McAvoy, said the freeze can be carried out as the authority “is well run and on a secure financial footing”.
He said: “Today’s budget does more than just keep our finances straight for the next year. They also set out some ambitious plans for South Lanarkshire’s future. The Capital Programme in particular lays out details of £255 million in investment by 2020.
“This means we will replace three of our care homes, we will improve community facilities, such as replacing Balgreen Hall, and we will invest to make sure our school kids have access to the best IT equipment.”
Mr McAvoy added: “I am now committing my party to another great investment in South Lanarkshire’s future – a massive extension of our council house building programme.
“New council homes are already being built in areas across South Lanarkshire, and current plans would see us build a total of 500 new homes by 2022. I am doubling that target. By 2022 South Lanarkshire Council will have built not 500 new homes but 1,000 new homes.”
The housing announcement came at a special meeting of the full council, at which a series of decisions were made. These included formal approval of the Capital Programme 2017/18 to 2019/20 and the Housing Revenue and Capital Account Budget 2017/18, which set a 2% rent increase and continued the process of rent harmonisation across the area.
Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan said it backed a freeze after it “listened to what matters to our communities”.
Around 679,000 households in bands E to H will pay more, however, no matter what their council decides.
MSPs voted to increase the multiplier mechanism which determines the rate these households pay from April.
It is the first time council tax bills will rise since the Scottish Government froze them in 2007.
Fifteen councils have set their rates to date:
- South Lanarkshire Council
- Renfrewshire Council
- Inverclyde Council
- Aberdeenshire Council
- Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles) Council
- Midlothian Council
- Edinburgh City Council
- Borders Council
- East Renfrewshire Council
- Moray Council
- Shetland Council
- Glasgow City Council
- Fife Council
- Angus Council
- Highland Council
All of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have until March 2 to set their tax and spending plans for the next financial year.