Stirling Council budget commits £9m to new homes

cowie_bungalows_071215webStirling Council renewed its commitment to building new homes in 2016/17 at its budget meeting last week.

The local authority will be investing over £9 million this year, as part of a programme of new house building which began in 2010/11 and will provide 210 new houses in the area.

This year, the council will buy eight new properties from developers at Highland Gate, Kildean. Between 2016/17 and 2017/18, it will also buy 24 new properties in Raploch.

In addition, the council will build eight new homes at the old swimming pool site at Riverside, and five at Firs Crescent in Bannockburn.

Housing portfolio holder, Councillor Violet Weir, said: “It’s one of this administration’s key priorities to build more socially rented housing and these new homes will add to a number already completed as part of our investment programme.

“I’m particularly pleased that these homes in Cowie were able to be built by our own in-house team and that the addition of more bungalows to the housing stock in general enables us to better serve elderly and disabled tenants in particular.”

In the last year, tenants in Stirling have benefited from ten new homes in Cowie, adding to houses completed previously in Cornton, Plean, Cambusbarron and the Top of the Town, as well as Killearn.

Stirling Council’s ambitious £6m city centre affordable housing project on Goosecroft Road has also recently been completed, with the first tenants due to start moving in shortly.

Since 2012 Stirling Council has either built or purchased more than 100 new flats and houses for social rent.

Overall, the council said its 2016/17 budget “protects front line services and creates growth for the Stirling area” despite having to effectively double the cuts the authority had to make to £6.3m over the next financial year.

Stirling Council leader Johanna Boyd said: “We are a financially well-run council with an innovative, robust and transparent budgeting process and because of this we are able to meet this challenge. We have listened and responded to the concerns and issues raised by our communities and citizens throughout the PBB process. A number of budget options have been rejected as a result, and this budget is designed to protect jobs and frontline services.

“The role that we play as a local authority and the work that we do is absolutely vital. Our communities and people – including some of society’s most vulnerable - rely on us every day for crucial services delivered by skilled and dedicated staff.  As the local authority, we are best placed to deliver these services and we must be adequately funded to do so.”

Stirling Council chief executive, Stewart Carruth, said: “In these challenging financial circumstances, it is particularly important that we, as the local authority, also work to create growth and boost Stirling’s economy, helping to bring in jobs and opportunities, deliver better services, and improve the lives of all our citizens. As such, we have established robust and effective growth and investment programmes to focus on our priorities, address key issues for our communities, build on our strengths and help position Stirling as a place of enterprise and opportunity for all.”

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