Below are the budget proposals for Place Services that have been approved.

    Design

    Review of Bus Subsidies

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    100

    Commentary

    The Council currently spends £1,030k to subsidise and support bus services that are not busy enough to be commercially worthwhile. There is no obligation on the Council to do this and given the reduction in funding to the Council it is not possible to continue support to private companies at existing levels. The Council could retain some subsides bus routes and deliver a smaller saving if members were minded to consider this.

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Full EPIA completed - medium impact. Analysis of ticket machine data shows 61% of bus users use a concessionary pass so are either over 60 or have a disability. By reducing or removing bus services, there may be an impact on people with disabilities by increasing their dependence on other, higher-cost services. Non-subsidised bus services will still be provided and taxi cards are available for people who can not use buses.

    Withdraw free-after-three at Council owned car parks in Falkirk Town Centre

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    50

    Commentary

    For these locations a charge would be introduced after 3pm and there would be a modest cost to drivers of between £1.60 and £2.10 for the 2 hours until 5pm. Given the budget pressures on the Council and the fact there is no evidence to conclusively demonstrate that parking tariffs have an influence on the success of the town centre, it is suggested that this change could come into affect with limited impact. The Council will continue to invest significantly in regenerating the town centre to create a successful and sustainable hub for local residents.

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Full EPIA complete - assessed low impact.


    Economic Development

    Reduce Planning & Environment Unit revenue budgets

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    25

    Commentary

    This saving would come from a review of non-statutory services within the Planning and Environment Unit. While there would be an impact on the positive development of the Falkirk area, the impacts to residents would not be directly obvious.

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Initial EPIA complete - no impact on people.

    Reform of the Planning and Building Standards services

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    90 1.5

    Commentary

    This saving would come from a review of Planning & Building Standards services based on national benchmarking of the cost of delivering these services. They include the removal of some vacant posts as well as a drive to improve efficiencies and generate income. The proposal for 2022/23 includes the introduction of Certificates of Lawfulness (CLUDS) and associated fee income (£30k) as well as the removal of vacant posts (£60k).

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Initial EPIA complete - no impact on people.

    Review of Christmas lights provision

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    50

    Commentary

    There is no obligation on Councils to provide Christmas lights. Given the budget pressure facing the Council this service could cease without a major impact on residents in the Falkirk area. Work could be undertaken to see if any local businesses or organisations wished to sponsor replacement displays. The Council could retain some Christmas light provision and deliver a smaller saving if members were minded to consider this.

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Full EPIA complete - low impact.

    Transformation of Roads, Grounds & Street Cleansing: Income generation from Grounds Maintenance Operations

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    100

    Commentary

    Maintenance of areas of open space within private housing developments are not paying for themselves in terms of the grounds maintenance work undertaken. Original commuted sums have been exhausted in the majority of cases and the cost of maintenance is no longer covered by income. The aim is that via community engagement, maintenance responsibilities can be shared with empowered communities or the service can continue to be delivered for a fee.

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Initial EPIA complete - no impact.


    Operational Services

    Removal of Pest Control Services

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    100 2

    Commentary

    There is no obligation for the Council to provide a Pest Control Service and Falkirk Council previously operated without one in 2019/20 with very few complaints from the public due to the wide availability of commercial operators. The service currently has two vacant posts and so this change would have no impact on existing employees.

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Full EPIA complete - low impact.

    Review of school crossing patrol provision - removal of lunch-time provision

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    31 2.15

    Commentary

    There is no obligation on Councils to provide a school crossing patrol at lunchtimes. Data shows that there are reducing numbers of children travelling home at lunch times, partially as a result of the expansion of free school meals, and other Councils already operate using a similar model. Locally, crossing patrollers are often informed by schools when provision won't be required.

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Full EPIA complete - low impact.


    Parks & Recreation

    Removal of Funding to Support 20-Minute Neighbourhoods

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    70

    Commentary

    The Council has funding available to support 20-minute neighbourhoods in the Falkirk area. Existing resources in Place Services are still able to push this ambition, and given budget pressures facing the Council, there would be limited impact to residents on the removal of this budget.

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Initial EPIA complete - no impact.

    Removal of Funding to Support Community Growing Initiatives

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    50

    Commentary

    The Council has funding available to support Community Growing initiatives in the Falkirk area. Some of this budget has been used to recruit an officer to drive forward this work and this option would see the remaining budget removed. This option would have a limited impact on residents compared to other areas under consideration.

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Initial EPIA complete - no impact.


    Street Scene

    Transformation of Roads, Grounds & Street Cleansing: Income Generation from Roads Maintenance Operations

    Estimated savings

    2022/23
    £000's
    Full-time equivalent
    200

    Commentary

    Proposal to generate income from external works where capacity permits.

    Impact on Service (Including Provisional EPIA Assessment)

    Initial EPIA complete - no impact.