Below are our budget proposals for Development Services.

Economic Development & Environmental Services

Reduction in activity of Community Safety Team

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
80 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 3

Commentary

This savings option would reduce the level of service and prioritise resources by delivering patrols in areas most in need.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

EPIA will be completed once the budget savings are available to the public and appropriate engagement will be conducted.


Reduction in employment and training services

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
205 105

Estimated FTE Impact: 4

Commentary

Reduction in employment and training services as supported by Falkirk Council and external funds. This is an updated version of Option 2 outlined in the report to Council in December 2015. This savings option involves a further reduction of employment and training activity of £205k in 17/18 & £105k in 18/19.

This additional saving would reduce provision by a further 50 places in 17/18 and 50 places in 18/19, a cumulative reduction of 340 places since 15/16.

The budget reduction has been mitigated to date by ETU staff undertaking direct delivery, reducing external training provision. The blend of Council and external funds for service delivery protects the range of interventions, matching some staff to European Social Fund activity.

It is envisaged that as a consequence of these savings there may be a requirement to terminate up to 4 temporary contracts.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

ETU works with harder to help older people as well as young people and these clients have multiple barriers to employment including health conditions, disabilities and additional support for learning needs. There is also a focus on care leavers and ex-offenders. 30% of clients currently come from SIMD areas

This savings option also needs to take into account anticipated changes in the field of employability arising from welfare reform and the devolution of UK employability services. The effects of the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy from April 2017 will also have to be factored in.

EPIA will be completed once the budget savings are available to the public and appropriate engagement will be conducted.


Reduction in support for economic development, growth and investment

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
30 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

Reduction in targeted support for economic development including measures to assist business and attract inward investment (including delivery of TIF) to help meet Economic Strategy 2015-25 objectives

The net budget remaining for Falkirk Council's economic development and area investment promotion arising from this saving would be reduced to £19k, sufficient for maintaining a website presence only.

The following activities will cease:

  • marketing materials including Invest Falkirk/Business Falkirk newsletter
  • all remaining business engagement activities – Business Exhibition, Annual Conference, Business Update Event and Business Breakfasts
  • Falkirk area marketing and competitiveness promotional activity

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

EPIA will be completed once the budget savings are available to the public and appropriate engagement will be conducted.


Reduction in support for economic development, tourism

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
22 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

Reduction to the Council's tourism budget would further impact on local, national and international promotional activities including attraction of visitors and external funds via VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise. This saving would involve withdrawal of grant to VisitScotland (£5k) and cancellation of membership of national tourism representative body, the Scottish Tourism Association.

Activity to assist the growth of the local tourism business sector will be stopped including a reduction in capacity to meet key targets of the Falkirk Tourism Strategy 2015-20.

The following activities would be affected–joint marketing with VisitScotland, direct distribution of VisitFalkirk leaflets to national locations, withdrawal of attendance at annual VisitScotland Expo with associated partner and trade promotion opportunities, reduction of marketing materials (including translations), business engagement /network activity. Also VisitScotland have indicated that they would potentially withdraw the Visitor Information Centre at the Falkirk Wheel.

The net budget remaining for Falkirk Council tourism promotion will be £28k and will permit maintenance of VisitFalkirk website and a limited range of marketing leaflets/promotion activity.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Reduction in support for economic development, town centre management

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
25 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

This saving would further reduce core economic development support for town centre management activities and Falkirk Business Improvement District (BID, promoted as Falkirk Delivers).

The Falkirk BID company is an established vehicle for access to external funding and activities that are in line with the Town Centres First principle (e.g. in tourism promotion or digital services) where local authorities are ineligible to apply.

BID support to deliver Christmas light switch on events in district centres would stop as a result of this saving.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

EPIA will be completed once the budget savings are available to the public and appropriate engagement will be conducted.

Notes

Funding is provided via Councils external grant funding and is managed through a Joint Working Agreement.


Review of Pest Control Service

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
20 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 1

Commentary

The aim of this proposal is to review the Council's pest control service with a view to sustaining the service at a reduced cost.

A review will be undertaken to seek increased income and a reduction of £20k to the net cost. This review would consider measures including; a decrease to service delivery costs, increased charges, more efficient working practices and potentially staff reduction via voluntary severance.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Operational Services

Ban vans from using household waste recycling centres

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
200 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

Currently approximately 20,000 vans use the sites, a small percentage of these pay for a permit to dispose of their waste as the majority of the contents are declared to be household and thus disposal is free of charge. It is considered that this is unlikely to be always the case. The proposal is to introduce a ban on vans and larger trailers using the site. Definition of vans and trailer types to be confirmed.

A ban on vans and large trailers would significantly reduce tonnages received on site and thus disposal costs. The potential saving identified relates to disposal costs which the service currently incurs.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

Potential to impact service users who have or hire vans for this purpose. The Council does provide a chargeable bulky uplift service or provides access to a national re-use helpline for free disposal of certain items.

There are other licenced waste facilities in Falkirk and surrounding areas which accept waste.

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Charge for a brown bin collection

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
433 0

Estimated FTE Impact: +7

Commentary

The collection of garden waste in brown bins is not a statutory function. Routine collections are currently free on a 4 weekly collection frequency from March to November and thereafter on demand. Currently additional brown bin are charged at £50 per collection season.

Proposal is to introduce a charge for a brown bin collection service on a fortnightly basis in the collection window and on demand in winter on same frequency of collection. Savings are based on customer experience at Angus Council which has recently introduced a charge.

Potential customer base 68,000 houses assuming a 45% take up 30,600 customers paying £25, the potential income is £765k. However There would be a need to add 2 extra teams at a cost of £262k plus vehicle and staff cover of £70k. Teams to be reviewed subject to service take-up.

This would be a charge to all households receiving the brown bin collection service. An alternative saving option would be to stop the service completely, saving £393k per annum.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

There is a risk of under recovery of income if sufficient householders did not take up this service. However there would be a corresponding reduction in costs associated with collection and disposal if this happened.

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Increase charges for special uplifts

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
30 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

This option is to now fully recover all costs associated with the collection and disposal of the each bulky uplift. It is therefore proposed to increase charge from £15 to £30 per uplift.

The estimated income is based on an assumption of 6,000 collections per annum and this additional income would be delivered in 17/18. However the income target is subject to users continuing to use the service. There would be a corresponding reduction in costs associated with collection and disposal should demand decrease.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

There may be a risk of increased fly tipping of bulky items. In mitigation, household recycling centres are available and users have access to a national to a free re-use helpline for collection of certain items.

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Move to 4 weekly residual waste collection

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
250 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

Move to 4 weekly residual waste collection

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Reduce the opening hours at household waste recycling centres

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
200 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 10

Commentary

The current public opening hours of both centres are 8am to 8pm April to September and 9am to 6pm October to March.

Under this option:

  • Each site would be closed to the public for two days per week
  • Both sites would be open to the public at the weekends

The opening times will be from 9am to 5:30pm all year round. This could be reviewed depending on demand.

The proposal is to keep both sites open but operating reduced days equivalent to a one shift system. Proposal is for sites to be closed to the public on two week days per week but not at same time and to keep both sites open at the weekends.

The savings are predominately from staff costs. These would be delivered through voluntary severance.

There is a statutory requirement to provide a facility of this nature.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

In mitigation, both sites would continue to be open 5 days per week and access to at least one site 7 days per week.

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Waste charter compliant collection service

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
212 213

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

Introduction of an additional container to collect plastic cans and cartons separately. This is Scenario 1 of a report to the Executive on 7 June 2016.

This saving option assumes full funding for the purchase of containers. If full funding is not achieved the revenue saving will be reduced.

Depending upon funding for bins there will be a lead time for delivery, hence the potential savings are over 2 years.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Planning & Transportation

Reduce countryside ranger service

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
4 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 1

Commentary

This option would halve the staffing complement from 2 FTEs to 1 FTE and deliver a saving of £35k in total. The remaining resources would prioritise statutory access aspects i.e. maintaining the path network open and free from obstruction, a statutory duty under Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

Reduction of 1 FTE ranger would result in a reduction in the number, or complete cessation, of events that require the presence of 2 rangers. This provision is also linked to upstream health agendas (mental and physical) benefits derived from promoting exercise on the path network. Reductions in this FTE resource could impact on this.

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Reduce the number of new/replacement bus shelters

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
30 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 1

Commentary

This would involve no staffing changes but would reduce the Council’s costs by replacing and renewing fewer bus shelters. The statutory provision of bus stop poles would remain unchanged.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Reduce the school crossing patrols to national standards over 1 year

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
50 50

Estimated FTE Impact: 4 (18 patrols in total)

Commentary

Option is to reduce the number of school crossing patrols to national standards over 1 year, allowing time for the compulsory redundancy process. This would achieve a total saving of £100k. It would have the effect of reducing the number of school crossing patrols from approximately 54 to approximately 30.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

The effect of a reduction of the service would be that more children who were unaccompanied by parents, carers or siblings would have to cross the road unassisted. The reduction to national standards means that the change would occur in areas with low numbers of pedestrians and/or traffic. The impact is mitigated by the fact that within the vicinity of (all) schools there are 20mph school zones and there are zebra or toucan crossings at some schools, to assist children in crossing the roads.

EPIA will be completed once the budget savings are available to the public and appropriate engagement will be conducted.


Reduce Shopmobility service from 6 days/week to 4

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
10 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 1

Commentary

The reduction in service level from 6 days per week to 4 would deliver a saving of £10k.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

EPIA will be completed once the budget savings are available to the public and appropriate engagement will be conducted.


Reduction in bus subsidies

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
352 148

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

This saving would be achieved by the cancellation of contracts for subsidised bus services for 17/18. This would have the effect of removing services on the least well used bus routes i.e. rural services, early morning and late evening services, plus the Sunday services and/or reducing the frequency of services supported by the Council. Depending on the extent of the savings to be achieved, mitigating measures would be sought.

3 months notice is required for the termination of bus contracts.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

EPIA will be completed once the budget savings are available to the public and appropriate engagement will be conducted..


Reduce funding to FET

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
4 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 1

Commentary

This saving proposal would represent a 15% cut in the relevant budget.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

This saving would reduce the Council's capacity to lever in additional funds (average £300k pa over last 10 years).

Community partners in particular could lose some project support and guidance in accessing landfill funds, currently provided by the FET Development Manager. FET board would need to consider implications.

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Roads & Design

Capitalise roads revenue

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
1,000 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

No adverse impact on Service as the current costs would be met within the capital budget. The current estimated saving of £1m is a provisional figure and will be reviewed during the budget setting process.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Parking charges at Falkirk High Station

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
0 17

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

These savings would be the generation of additional income of £17k per annum from introducing charging at Council owned car parks near Falkirk High station. Total income of £17k per annum is based on 60% uptake. The lead in time for new car parking charges is 6 months. A decision in February would be implemented in October thus delivering a half year saving which would be offset by £8k set up costs. The first year of net income of £17k would be in 2018/19.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

There is a risk of displacement of vehicles to parking for free on nearby residential streets. This would impact on income levels.

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Parking charges at Falkirk Wheel Car Park

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
0 0

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

This car park is well used during the summer holiday period. The park and ride car park at the Wheelhouse Restaurant would remain free.

Uptake should only be assumed for 3 months during the summer and on a 50% uptake at best. On this basis estimated income would be £14k per annum. The lead in time for new car parking charges is 6 months. A decision in February would be implemented in October thus missing the summer months in 2017/18. Set up costs for signs and machines total £16k. As there would be no income to offset the costs in 2017/18 this would be delayed to 2018/19. The first year of net income of £14k would be 2019/20.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

No equalities impact arises from this saving.


Parking charges at Larbert and Polmont Stations

Estimated savings

2017/18
£000's
2018/19
£000's
0 42

Estimated FTE Impact: 0

Commentary

These savings would be generated from additional income from introducing charging at Council owned car parks near rail stations which currently offer free parking.

An estimated total annual income of £114k at Polmont Station (E & W) serving Polmont Station and Foundry Loan (E & W) and Larbert Station (E) serving Larbert Station is based on 60% uptake. The income level also allows for additional staff costs for an additional car park attendant. The lead in time for new car parking charges is 6 months. A decision in February would be implemented in October thus delivering a half year income of £57k in 2017/18. The set up costs of £72k would exceed income in 2017/18. Implementation would therefore be delayed to April 2018 achieving income of £42k in 2018/19 after deduction of set up costs and £114k in subsequent years.

Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

There is a risk of displacement of vehicles to parking for free on nearby residential streets. This would impact on income levels.

No equalities impact arises from this saving.