Council looking for £21m savings

CITY chiefs today announced they are looking for £21 million of savings in next year's council budget.
BINS: Council wants to charge £25 a year for garden waste pick-upsBINS: Council wants to charge £25 a year for garden waste pick-ups
BINS: Council wants to charge £25 a year for garden waste pick-ups

And their proposals include introducing a charge for garden waste collections, an increase in the cost of parking permits and reducing Edinburgh Leisure’s budget.

Finance convener Alasdair Rankin said council tax would need to go up by three per cent and there could be more than 100 job losses, though many would be through not filling vacancies.

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The planned £25 annual charge for garden waste collections would bring in an extra £1.3 million in revenue. Cllr Rankin said the service would be increased to every two weeks instead of the current three weeks.

Parking permits would go up by five per cent, raising an extra £100,000.

The council also plans to net £200,000 from increased enforcement of bus lane restrictions and other transport policies.

And Edinburgh Leisure would see its budget cut by £420,000, though the council says it hopes there would be no impact on its ability to keep swimming pools and sports centres open.

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Cllr Rankin said: “We have done our best to avoid any major reductions in frontline service, particularly education and health and social care.”

The budget proposals will go out to consultation next week and the council says it wants to hear the views of Edinburgh citizens on the spending priorities for the city.