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Published 28 March 2019

West Dunbartonshire Council has approved a ‘no cuts’ budget for 2019/20 and will also invest an extra £2.5million into local communities.

The plan protects frontline Council services such as education, waste and roads and commits additional funding to help some of the poorest and most vulnerable residents in the community. 

A new £500,000 Legacy Fund has been created to mark the Year of Young People and this will assist groups which run activities or services for young people in West Dunbartonshire.

Holiday Hunger among young people will be addressed with £100,000 set to be invested each year. The money will enable community groups to increase provision of meals and social activities for school children outwith term time.

Councillors also committed to helping hundreds of extra families benefit from free school meals by investing £110,000 a year to increase the qualifying household income threshold.

West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare and Food 4 Thought, will also benefit from investment of £25,000 each per annum to help with costs associated with running the foodbank initiatives.

Funding of £35,000 a year has been committed to Rape Crisis West Dunbartonshire to establish a support service for victims of rape, sexual assault and gender based violence in the area.

In addition £10,000 a year has been made available to help groups tackle loneliness and isolation affecting all ages. This activity would help reduce the risks posed to individual’s physical and mental wellbeing.

The Council are investing in Community Empowerment, where a new member of staff will be appointed to deliver an even better service and enhance the support we provide to Community Groups in West Dunbartonshire. They will also work to reshape the Community Alliance, empowering it to represent our communities and provide meaningful input to the Council and Community Planning Partnership.

Furthermore, the Council’s contribution to West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership will also be increased to £67m, ensuring key services such as Home Care and Social Work are protected and enhanced.

Councillor Ian Dickson, Convener of Corporate Services, said: “This budget increases investment in key areas without making any cuts to services, and shows our commitment to supporting the residents who need it most.

“By ensuring our frontline services are safeguarded and our communities receive the investment they deserve, we are making it clear that we want a fairer future for all, and especially our most vulnerable.

“It is the job of Councillors to find the best possible balance between investment and securing the sustainable future of our local services.

”We are working hard to make West Dunbartonshire an even better place to live and I believe this budget demonstrates exactly that.”

Council Leader Jonathan McColl added: “Over the last year we have delivered for our communities; supporting people of all ages to access work, learning and training, started working on developments such as a new care home and new houses, and investing in our future through projects to raise attainment and achievement of our young people.

“In the coming year, we intend to further enhance West Dunbartonshire as a place to live, work and visit by empowering our communities, continuing to invest in regeneration and providing funding to groups which offer vital support to residents of all ages including those which address holiday hunger, provide activities for our young people and tackle loneliness.”