The Revenue Budget covers the council's day-to-day expenditure and includes the cost of running services. That includes the cost of running schools, social care, operational services - such waste, roads and parks, winter and grounds maintenance - and a raft of other essential functions.
80% of the council's total revenue budget is funded directly from Scottish Government grant with the remaining 20% being generated via Council Tax, paid by local people. A Council Tax increase of 3% for all bands has been approved for 2022/23, which is below the current rate of inflation.
Approximately 80% of the council's total revenue budget is spent on three priority areas, Education, Social Care and Operational Services.
Education will continue to see the largest single investment with £206.7 million being spent within Education Services in West Lothian next year.
Over £126 million will be invested in Social Policy which includes care homes, social work, care at home and care for vulnerable people.
Nearly £64.8 million will be spent in Operational Services - which covers many vital local services such as roads, waste disposal, parks, maintenance of open spaces, flood prevention, fleet/community transport, subsidies for public transport, recycling centres, street cleansing and facilities management, which includes janitorial, cleaning and catering staff.
Key aspects of the budget include:
- investment to meet an increase in the cost of complex care for a rapidly growing elderly population
- an increase in health and social care funding, including mental health support for young people
- additional funding for food support packages delivered in partnership between third sector groups and the council via the West Lothian Food Network
- additional welfare and financial support
- funding to freeze school meal prices
- support for looked after children and vulnerable adults
- significant investment in economic packages to support growth and job creation
- additional funding for the Scottish Welfare Fund support
- investment to tackle fuel poverty
In addition to the current programme of road repair work, the council has allocated an additional £1 million in essential road repairs this year.
An additional £1.5 million to support prevention work in homelessness and provide an enhance service.
There will be significant financial support worth over £3 million to support those most in need in areas such as school clothing grants, homelessness and food networks and financial support for families. Financial support for Domestic Abuse services, Looked After Children and support for Personal Care at Home for Children with a Disability.
The council has also agreed a number of one-off spending packages worth over £2.2 million for Economic Development and Regeneration to support the local economy and create jobs, including support for initiatives to reduce the council's carbon footprint.
£550,000 for the West Lothian Jobs Fund and Employability programme with targeted support including pop up employability clinics. It would also enhance the Jobs Fund and resources available to support existing employability initiatives.
£425,000 will be invested in community safety
The council will invest in carrying out a sport provision mapping exercise to identify all council, third and voluntary sector, and private sector sports and play facilities with the aim of encouraging greater sports uptake.
The council has also agreed to continue to freeze school meals and reduce school, meal prices by 10%. Further investment will also go into the Winter Resilience Fund
For those that need support with Council Tax, the council has set aside £425,000 for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme to support those in need.
Leader of West Lothian Council, Councillor Lawrence Fitzpatrick said:
"This council will continually strive to enhance services for every single West Lothian resident.
"However, it is our priority to support people who are in greatest need and help to preserve and create jobs, and lift the economy within West Lothian, which is why we have targeted support across a wide range of measures that will help people through difficult times.
"The council provides a huge range of quality services and our investment in local services benefits every single resident in West Lothian. The council is here to support people who need extra help as well as providing statutory services.
"We strive to protect and improve our communities and local services. We believe that we have agreed the best possible budget within the resources made available to us."
Council Tax Note
A Council Tax increase of 3% for all bands has been approved for 2022/23, which is below the current rate of inflation.
This equates to an extra 74 pence per week for a band D property. If Council Tax had been frozen in 2022/23, the council would have had to reduce spending on local services by a further £2.7 million and this would have had further implications for future years.
The Scottish Budget Bill approved last week confirmed funding of £280 million to provide £150 to every household in receipt of Council Tax Reduction in any Band and to provide £150 to all other occupied households in Bands A to D.
A Band D property will therefore pay £2.15 per week less for Council Tax in 2022/23.