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Council reveal 33 cost cutting options

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HOT school meals, road repairs, road crossing wardens, library books, museums and Saturday weddings are in the spotlight as Dumfries and Galloway Council look for further cost savings.

They have also highlighted winter roads treatments, burial costs, event funding and caravan parks as other areas in which cuts can be made or charges increased.

And now the local authority wants to get the public’s view on the latest budget options, with a range of consultation events taking place around the region.

Officials have drawn up a list of 33 proposals, which would help them reach the £12.6 million of savings needed next year. A council spokesman said: “No decisions on these options have been taken yet but they will form the basis of councillors discussions and decisions when setting their budgets for February 2020.”

The list includes:

  • Modernising and prioritising the delivery of school crossing patrols. Safety will be maintained by consideration will be given to alternative arrangements, e.g. automated crossings and demand at key times.
  • Reducing the number of subjects offered in secondary schools and maximising class sizes to achieve fewer staff
  • Cut spending on certain areas of roads maintenance, e.g. funding of materials, subcontractors and hired equipment for drainage and patching works
  • Reduce the winter service primary treatment routes length from 1500km to 1125km
  • Reduce the frequency of verge grass cutting on national speed limit A and B class roads from twice in a season to once
  • Change catering in small primary schools of less than 50 pupils so that hot meals are only on offer two days a week
  • Reduce the budget for major festivals and events by £275,000
  • Reduce the funding for library book stock
  • Use networking and digital delivery to increase minimum class sizes in the senior school phase of secondary
  • Review museum and gallery provision across the region and develop opportunities for community involvement in management and/or ownership and closure where demand is low and unsustainable
  • Introduce new charges for street naming, residents’ parking permits, temporary traffic signals, house numbering and naming
  •  Improve promotion of Dumfries and Galloway as a exceptional wedding destination but levy a 20 per cent rise in associated non-statutory registration fees and standardise fees for Saturday ceremonies
  • Move towards full cost recovery for burial services
  • Increase charges at council owned caravan sites
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