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Glasgow City Council has passed a budget that prioritises frontline services and ensures the city is ready to respond to the climate emergency.

Members today backed a budget plan for 2020/21 which will see Council Tax rise by 4.64% – below the 4.84% cap.

In challenging circumstances, the budget delivers additional cash to support community empowerment and continues funding for valued initiatives including free school meals and ending holiday hunger.

It invests more than an additional £1 million in cleansing – and allows the city to establish a £10 million Climate Emergency Implementation Fund.

Council leader Susan Aitken said: “Our budget proposals protect and, wherever possible, invest in the city’s priorities – from our environment to education, community empowerment and participatory budgeting.

“We are also making sure Glasgow is ready to hit the ground running in meeting the climate challenge facing every community across the country and across the world.”

During the budget debate, City Treasurer Cllr Allan Gow accepted an amendment by the Scottish Green Party, moved by Cllr Kim Long.

This introduced additional savings, including increased charges, and cost-neutral sustainability measures – such as ending the use of air travel for journeys within the mainland UK. It also provided the revenue costs of borrowing to support the Climate Emergency Implementation Fund.

Cllr Allan Young, co-convenor of the Green councillors group, said: “We’re pleased that Glasgow has backed our calls to accelerate climate action ahead of COP26. The climate and ecological emergencies are the defining issues of our age and we have a moral duty to act.

“We’ve also led the case for reform of Glasgow’s budget process so citizens can have a real say in decisions over the future of vital local services.”

Today’s budget pegs Band D Council Tax at £1,386.000 for 2020/21 – an increase of around £1.17 per week. The average bill in Glasgow will be considerably lower.

Due to changes to the national budget-setting timetable, only the city’s revenue budget was considered by members at this afternoon’s meeting. Capital budgets, which typically support spending on infrastructure, will be looked at once the national process is complete.

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