Alloa Community Council Budget Consultation 23/1/18 - Public Comments

Following on from the our Budget Consultation event on the 23rd January 2018 at the Town Hall we typed up your comments and they are listed below.  They have also been submitted to the Council.  Thank you for attending our event and giving your views.  As we promised we have passed on your comments and as you see added to our web site.

We heard that Clacks and Stirling Health and Social Care Patnership are also holding their consultation.  Click here to access their survey


Children and Families

Voluntary and Community Groups

Towns and Communities 
Waste and Recycling

Management Efficiencies
Income Generation 
Adult Care & Social Care

Other Cuts

Parents Council


Education (49 comments)

  • School assistants are vital to support inclusion in school and keep children within mainstream.

  • Music tuition is very important for attainment.  It is important for children with learning difficulties for memory and sequencing.  Studies have shown it improves maths attainment.  Direct some of the attainment challenge money to music tuition and music projects to promote playing instruments.

  • Reduce the amount of primary schools to reduce management and redirect funds to teachers and school assistants.

  • Don’t reduce the number of learning assistants by a fifth.  As this has a significant impact on those who need support most, this is a false economy and unfair on those who can be resilient.

  • Don’t withdraw music tuition from schools and pupils.  School and education isn’t just about academic achievement.  Music can be a real way in for children who can’t achieve in other ways.
  • Opposed to cuts to learning assistants – this is a vital service to try and support children who are behind and who need support.  Failing to help them now will cost us more later when educational attainment is poor and other social and health problems may arise.
  • Opposed to secondary school subject choices – we want kids to go on to positive pathways.  Restricting their choices doesn’t make sense.  Educational attainment needs to increase in the county.  Cuts don’t make sense.
  • Opposed to any loss of qualified teacher in nurseries. Closing gaps in education age 3 – 5 sets the path for children’s futures.  It is too important especially in a county with a lot of deprivation.
  • Learning assistants are essential in schools.  These numbers should not be reduced.
  • There is not much peripatetic teachers input as it is but I feel this is so valuable, particularly to stand alone and partnership nurseries.  Early years are so important to setting up and getting it right from a young age.
  • To remove transport form Tillicoutltry pupils to Alva Academy would mean the cycle/ walk path would need a hard barrier and lighting and risk assess for pupil safety.
  • Music Tuition
  • School transport – reduce to minimum required by law.  Get kids walking/get fitter, charge to use the bus?
  • In reducing secondary choice you risk making children leave school if the choice is not as appealing.
  • Learning assistants must stay with such poor attainment teachers must have help in the classroom.
  • Make catchment areas work for travelling boundaries so transport cost is minimum.
  • Learning assistants are essential in schools to raise attainment, improve behaviour, support kids that need it.  Need more LAs if anything.
  • All secondary subjects should be maintained, give kids as much choice as possible/ as many opportunities as possible.
  • Replace music tuition and create something like Big Noise Raploch.
  • Charge for school transport if out of catchment.
  • Opposed to withdrawal of music tuition – children should have access to the arts as well as science etc.
  • Realign catchment areas. E.g. Clackmannan school children feed into Alloa Academy.
  • Reduce school subjects – suggesting video link teaching – I feel personally this would not work well with children of most ages.  Maybe in some rural areas.  But a teacher present can teach more face to face then via a link.
  • Keep learning assistants – do not reduce by a fifth.  At the moment teachers are under pressure with work load as well as challenging children.  Learning assistants are vital in ensuring children’s’ learning are up to standard as well as less class disruptions.
  • Maintain music tuition, it gives otherwise quiet kids confidence.
  • Learning assistants must also be saved as increasing classroom sizes allows the disadvantaged children to fall through the crack.
  • Mothers are encouraged to work but how can they if after school care is not available.  Those willing to work won’t bother as it’s cheaper not to work.
  • Children’s education has suffered enough as a result of austerity.  ‘Getting it right for every child’ they need the opportunity to learn, having teachers to teach not to control disruptive behaviour.
  • Reduction in teaching assistants will result in poor education for those willing to learn.  Classroom assistants are being use to police disruptive behaviour.
  • Reduce management posts in the council.
  • Non – school curriculum related sports – helps kids socialise with other children and improves children’s ‘confidence.
  • Opposed to loss of learning assistants
  • In my opion my daughter’s education will suffer as the teacher will not have enough time to spend on pupils learning.
  • Withdrawal of music tuition – music helps children’s confidence and builds relationships.
  • I am opposed to music tuition , kids walking to school 3 miles and less subject choice.  This makes Clackmannanshire unattractive to parents or prospective parents thinking of moving to the area.
  • Subject choices – reduced chances for future jobs.  It makes it unattractive to certain schools and area.  There will be only a short range of jobs you can apply for, making people leave.
  • Retain transport – dangerous as paths unsuitable especially Menstrie area.  Increased congestion if parents driving kids to school.  Increased truancy, kids won’t go if having to walk close to 3 miles and anti social behaviour will increase if kids not at school.  
  • Save money on transport – charge season ticket, reduce number of stops, centralise.  Kids only go to school in catchment area.
  • Retain music tuition – Gives confidence, all abilities can learn, people who otherwise can’t play sport.  Makes school fun, pupils achieve other subjects due to staying at school for music.  Socialise with different people.  Brighter future, earning opportunities in bands, busking and bagpipes at wedding, keeping up Scottish traditions.
  • Music tuition is vital to the community.  Music saved me during several difficult school years.  It gave me confidence and social skills that are vital to my future teaching career.  Ex tuition pupils in clacks having have gone on to create 10% of Glasgow university orchestra   They have created music teachers and career driven individuals.
  • After school clubs/sports activities – They’re too cheap for making income and ends up wasting time and money.  Not many coming to these events/clubs/competitions but it still costs too, doesn’t cancel before as well.  Some children come to misbehave rather than the education.
  • Reducing Learning Assistants – There are 4 high tariff children in my 5 year old’s class and if the learning assistant gets cut my daughter will not be given the time she deserves.  We are trying to bridge the attainment gap and taking away LAs will not help the teachers to give their full time to get these results.
  • In the year of the young person why are we cutting anything.  Music, nursery teachers, subject choices are vital to learning if a kid can’t behave in clases with a teacher – how will this work?  
  • Learning Assistants – Needed!!
  • LAs must be decided by need not budget.
  • Do not reduce subject choices in schools – find a more imaginative way in which pupils can access the widest choice possible.
  • Review teacher/ pupil ratio.  Impact on pupil learning as less time spent with them individually.
  • Reduce LAs with class sizes getting bigger less support for teachers in class impacting on pupil learning.
  • I want to comment on your options proposal for reducation and changes in services, specifically the removal of music tuition subsidy from schools.

Whilst I understand the current climate and the need for frugality, I feel that cutting this support from children’s education and wellbeing is not the way to go, especially in an activity that provides so many benefits for those involved in both their education and personal development into adulthood.

Studies have shown that both learning and being involved in making music has significant beneficial effects.  The Chinese philosopher Confucius said ‘ Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without’.

Children who play a musical instrument find their memory capacity increases, their time management and organisational skills improve and their team skills are boosted.  It teaches them perseverance, enhances their coordination and betters their mathematical ability.  Their reading and comprehension skills improve, their understanding and attitude towards responsibility increases and it exposes them to cultural history.  It sharpens their concentration, fosters their self-expression and relieves stress.  Children who play a musical instrument experience a greater sense of achievement; it promotes their social skills and boosts their listening skills.  It teaches them the importance of discipline elevates their performance skills and can actually enhance their health by improving their respiratory system.

Playing a musical instrument promotes happiness in both their lives and lives of those around them.  I know the joy of watching your child perform not only to you, but to their whole community through things like HMFY orchestra performances.

Stirling Council acknowledge these benefits with their support of the Big Noise.  They said ‘The most obvious triumphs of Big Noise are musical but we must always remember that the real impact is behind the music.  These young people are learning confidence and resilience that will eqiup them to succeed across all the areas of their lives.

Will the next Nicola Benedette hail from the Wee County?  We’ll never know if the Council cut their support for music tuition.

For session 2017/2018 Clacks council received over one and a half million pounds to improve the attainment of children at their schools.  In a time when this is such a priority and Clackmannanshire Council needs extra funding to achieve this, why even consider removing the subsidy to an activity that promotes the very thing you are already struggling to achieve.

Children and Families (17 comments)

  • Reduce subsidy to kid zone. 

  • Don't stop breakfast clubs - you could increase charges to those that pay but given poverty plus deprivation in the area these are important.

  • Do you have a clear business case for ceasing child psychology assessments and use alternative service?  Need to make sure it is cheaper and more efficient than maintaining the contract. 

  • Keep child psychologists very important for supporting children. 

  • Realistic charge breakfast clubs and sports activities. 

  • Reduce subsidy for  kidzone  - can be recouped through childcare tax credits.

  • Increase breakfast club it is a very small amount to pay for what it is used for.

  • No need for free school meals for all P1 -P3, means test better, parents happy to pay.

  • Charge more for sports development classes do not scrap sports, people happy to pay more.

  • Breakfast clubs increase charges for this.   Parents happy to pay more those kids that can’t afford it subsidised.

  • Charge more for sports development classes why has it not raised with inflation and in line with other classes of the same??

  • Opposed to breakfast club cuts. This is vital service to many hungry children.  Life chances are impacted by poor learning caused by hunger.  Increasing charges to parents who have the means is OK, but restricting availability to those who do not must not happen.  Educational attainment is shocking loess here already.

  • Raising costs for those who can afford, I. E. Free school meals to receive free breakfast but not all.

  • Subsidy for Kidzone – Already pay 150 pounds a month to enable me to work.  If fees go up I might have to re think career as cannot afford anymore.

  • Keep contract for child psychology assessment - assessments are vital in supporting children who may be facing difficulties.  If these sort of psychological issues are not diagnosed and worked on then in turn can result in later life issues, which have a  knock on effect  abuse, poverty,  low education. 

  • Having to reduce the external foster placements imply we don't have enough in our area,how do we increase this? 

  • Feel the need for child psychology assessment is needed if there is so many children receiving fostering, LAC

Voluntary and Community Groups (12 comments)

  • Reduce funding to third sector organisations and support to apply for external funding.  Scrutinise organisations to ensure they are making outcomes.  Short term funding and put funding and scrutiny into long term projects.

  • Do not stop funding for ‘Clacks healthier lives’ – this is a vital service used by many.  It ranges from food barra, sexual health, helping with finding work.  I have used ti and know people who do.  This would leave a gap in the community and lead to further issues, such as health care for the government and poverty.

  • Real impact study needs to be done on the value of the local voluntary sector.  Please don’t under estimate their worth!

  • What is the real impact to local people and families and the knock on effect of the cuts?  What effects are there on other services i.e. NHS, social services, alcohol and drug services.

  • Lots of lessons to be learned about things that worked in the past that have been done away with.

  • Opposed wholly to cuts to Women’s Crisis services.  This will affect very vulnerable people with no means to help themselves.  

  • Assess the impact of these cuts to volunteers and users of the services.  It may be a false economy to cut.

  • Local authority needs to work with and have confidence in the third secotr to maximise funding opportunities and create more inclusive services.

  • Do not cut/redesign Women’s Crisis Services – This service is for vulnerable women who if these services were cut they would become more vulnerable.  This service ensures women have confidence to go back into the community and work.  It ensures they are confident with their children.  If this wasn’t in place it would have a knock on effect on children such as their education, neglect etc through psychological impact.

  • Some of the third organisations proposed to cut are so vulnerable in the community have the biggest impact on vulnerable familese and making them even more vulnerable.

  • Not enough information about what the funding of third sector organisations actually provides and to whom?  Would stopping the café society, healthier lives and sauchie Active 8 be a false economy?  It sounds it might.

  • The redesign of the Women’s crisis services – A redesign makes sense, but be careful you aren’t causing problems elsewhere or increasing costs elsewhere.  These services are needed and need to continue for those who need them at times of crisis.  Does redesign mean cut?  It shouldn’t.

Towns and Communities (34 comments)

  • Car Parking - if charges are brought in, how about not charging on a Saturday afternoon as footfall to the town centre is low and it would encourage people to come to the high street shops?

  • Car Parking – Minimum wage jobs can’t afford to work all day, less customers, less town centre shopping, killing high street.

  • Library – books are in poor enough condition quality why reduce it more.

  • Gritting was terrible recently.  Pavements were unsafe especially Tullibody Road

  • Closure of public toilets.

  • Stop Christmas lights or raise funds at the light switch on.  Buckets on street for collection.

  • Reduce access points to rural areas and combine areas

  • Would charging for parking cost more money to coordinate?

  • Stop printing newsletter.

  • Panel of citizens not effective, other ways of gathering data.

  • Community halls essential hub of community activities should remain open.

  • Lots of talk of ‘isolation’ at the moment.  Facilities/halls within local communities are key to preventing this issue.

  • Parking charges would reduce trade in town centre.

  • People hogging spaces in order to go to work all day should be the ones who pay.

  • Do not reduce winter maintenance of footways.  We have seen a hard winter.  People stuck in streets, not getting to work, carers not getting to elderly disabled, teachers not getting to schools.  People having accidents by slipping on ungritted paths.   This will have a huge knock on effect.

  • I think charging for car parks is an acceptable sacrifice

  • Closing of local halls. CTSI will not have a big enough lot for all the halls.

  • Do not close public toilets.

  • Make community centres and halls earn money by promoting them for use by sports clubs and art groups.

  • Implications of reducing maintenance of footways could be huge financially, well in excess of 25,000 if claims are brought.

  • Do not charge car parks.  This will result in less people coming to smaller businesses and travelling further afield ie Stirling and Falkirk.  Business closures mean unemployment, unattractive streets, people depending on benefits, having to sell properties and homes.

  • Car parking – more people visiting supermarkets, why pay in Alloa when other towns in the county ie Alva, tilly etc do not, unfair on Alloa people, are we getting a reduction in council tax then?

  • Introduce car parking charges in all Clackmannanshire towns or option free for first hour, charge all day.

  • Can’t shut toilets need for everyone, will need to pay compensation to traders and residents if shut in Alloa.

  • Community Centres – Only close IF a good community solution is in place.

  • Only stop running community centres and halls if there is a good business case to do so.

  • Be careful that the car parking charges don’t mean people will stop coming into town and traders will be forced to close.

  • Tourism Grant – Opposed if business case makes council worse off, has the impact being studied?

  • Introducing car parking – charges to town centre will kill footfall there.

  • Gritting – absolutely opposed there isn’t enough gritting already.

  • Car parking – small charges for some areas might be ok.  I’m very concerned about loss of trade.  We already have too many charity and betting shops as it is.

  • Opposed to closure of public toilets.  This will isolate many groups of people and even if there are arrangements with local traders, people feel obliged to spend money in a shop or café if they go in.  Traders may not be very supportive long term.

  • Do not charge for car park as it may reduce the customers to Alloa town centre which will impact on the businesses there, particularly the small business owners, may lead to unemployment.  

  • Don’t reduce winter maintenance of footways – Is this the most cost efficient way to do the footpaths?  By reducing treatment will you increase costs elsewhere due to slips, trips and falls?  E.e. social care, NHS costs and insurance (I appreciate NHS and social care are not directly costs for the council).

  • Against the closure/removal of public toilets – Public facilities for all members of the community and visitors important.  Not providing services for children, elderly, pregnant women, disable and others is not progress.  It will put people off going out to play or park.  It affects tourism too, impacts on health.

Waste and Recycling (25 comments)

  • Combine weekly food collection in with brown bin to save money in order to save the glass collection.

  • Regarding recycling of glass, textiles etc – How much money if any is generated by selling on the waste?

  • Don’t stop garden waste collection.  I would be happy to pay for garden waste collection.

  • Opposed to garden waste collection cessation – combine garden waste with food waste.  Compost it all together. Ok to pay for brown bin if no major increase in council tax.

  • Close recycling on Boxing Day and January 2nd.

  • Brown bins should be free to those with no other way of disposing garden rubbish or with large gardens.  

  • Recycling Centre – Suggest yes to closing earlier plus on Boxing Day and January 2nd.  Monitor usage to identify peak times.

  • Garden waste – keep service people don’t have transport to take to Forthbank.

  • Stop accepting types – for the small cost it prevents fly tipping.

  • Stop recycling tyres – reduce recycling centre hours.

  • Charge for garden bin collection

  • Reduce blue box collection

  • Charge commercial customers.

  • Stop garden waste collection – people would mix waste and would casuse contamination meaning more landfill.  We have worked hard as a community on recycling and Clacks are proud of our % recycling reached.

  • Illusory savings which will result in illicit dumping council will get more material delivered to them.  Poorer people with no transport not able to pay.

  • Kerbside box – it’s the same lorry that collects food and glass.  Glass can be sold back to companies.

  • Kerbside recycling – should be kept as it is.  The easier residents find recycling the better.

  • Stopping brown bin collection would only lead to anti social tenant’s gardens being unkempt.

  • Get rid of food collection.

  • Stopping garden waste – would lead to fly tipping

  • Look at more ways to generate money through recycling projects.

  • Keep kerbside collections – charge extra if needed same for garden waste.

  • Brown bins only for those who need it (housebound) others can pay or take to waste management centre.

  • Remember not everyone in community is able bodied or has the means to get waste to a recycling centre.

  • Do not stop kerbside box collection – make this less frequent but not stop.  Some people cannot take these items to be recycled.  It could in turn encourage fly tipping which is detrimental on environment, health hazards.  Cause council more money to up lift fly tipping.

Workforce (13 comments)

  • Why do the gardeners always do the flower beds on a Sunday? 

  • Against removal of additional payments for week end, reduction in overtime rates and reduction in working week.

  • Changes to staff conditions cannot go ahead. The impact on families out ways the benefits.

  • Possibly outsourcing to external contractors, clarity in tender conditions i.e. companies up to standard. 

  • Untrained staff, corporate redesign, lack of skills, correct people for the job, transfer of responsibility to lower tiers, short sighted. 

  • Gate

  • No cuts to overtime rates for staff especially land staff as gutter operatives.

  • Why do the staff have to suffer.

  • Invest in corporate training we need staff to manage the changes and challenges for us.

  • No to reduction of the working week -staff have already taken a cut directly affecting money going to local community and their pensions.

  • Reductions will increase number of staff we need to run services efficiency. 

  • Removal of weekend and evening work overtime rates and reduction in working week will impact lower waged employees most.  The cost of overtime is minimal I'd you had to contract the work out.

  • Opposed to changes to staff terms and conditions - likely to affect families on lower incomes, who may already be affected by other cuts to services like breakfast club, music tuition

Management Efficiencies (9 comments)

  • Do not reduce costs of housing stray dogs - reduced cost could result in more stray dogs on streets resulting in more dog fouling, dog attacks on people.

  • Perhaps Bandeau could become a charity organisation -volunteers -charity grants gift aid.

  • Why is the finance director and chief exec still in jobs within council? Have they not been held accountable for state of finances? 

  • Better financial government. 

  • Management capabilities -people in positions are they capable of making these decisions I. E. Do they have financial background plus no political agenda? 

  • Management efficiencies should be done as standard - managers should be  held  accountable  for budgets and overspends.

  • Community hubs provide services  in one place every. E.g. paypoint, rent offices, libraries.  Use existing buildings like community halls.

  • Likely to be false economy. Fewer and fewer people will be available to run services which are already stretched. 

  • False economy to reduce the corporate training budget, to delete vacant posts, reduce property costs, reduce storage and security costs

Income Generation (23 comments)

  • Why is it Mulraney can make money but the council can’t?

  • Don’t mind paying more council tax to offset cuts.

  • Opposed to rise in council tax – There are already shocking bin collections in the area.  So an increase paying for cut services is pointless.  A cut to less important services such as Christmas lights and sell abandoned buildings/leasing.

  • Land & buildings – Lease rather than sell.  Council could renovate buildings and sell/rent flats and properties to generate income and council tax.

  • Increase council tax.  Review council tax bands.

  • Don’t sell properties and get a one off income, if you then lose an opportunity to generate an ongoing income if you were able to keep a property and rent it out or use it.

  • Sale of land and building – It may be better to lease for a longer term, income generation rather than sell off for a low one-off gain.

  • Renovate council buildings to flats.

  • Land and buildings be sold to companies for affordable housing.

  • Run our own leisure facilities instead of Mulraney.

  • Grant/fund officers – to generate income/access funds.

  • Council tax bands – higher bands – F, G, H – 3% stagger increase for lower bands 1%.

  • Tourism – tour trails, cycle network, old photos on street furniture.

  • Work closer with third sector organisations to maximise effectiveness and increate impact.

  • I’m happy for council tax to go up the maximum of 3%.  Have been used to it going up prior to the freeze.

  • Council should use it’s buildings to generate income rather than it being an expense.  Our officers should learn from local business men i.e. Mr Mulraney, to rent out buildings that are unused.

  • Agree – pay extra 3% council tax rather than cut staff salaries it is a fairer distribution.

  • Idea – Clackmannanshire council ‘estate agency’ to sell commercial property or encourage small business to lease it.  Sale is a one year benefit whereas rent is a regular income.

  • Reduce rental of buildings for council activities and make better use of halls and community centres.  Develop buildings before selling into flats, businesses to increase income and possibility of rental income.

  • Increase council tax.

  • Close some leisure facilities and enable more income to offset other council overheads..

  • Council needs to develop more services on-line.

  • Raise all leisure costs by 20%, then enable whose who pay on line to get 20% discount if paid more than two weeks ahead.  10% discount if paid on-line if paid one week ahead.

Adult Care & Social Care (10 comments)

  • Stop double funding by providing mobility allowance/cars and then providing transport also.

  • Ensure there is a balance in provision of care and quality.

  • Quality of life and loneliness for older people is important.

  • Look at more in-house services than expensive contractors. 

  • Better co-ordinated care packages to keep people at home. 

  • Stop spending money on new IT systems.  Replacing systems does not always save money, sometimes the reverse.

  • Work more closely with voluntary and community groups in 3rd sector to contract services. 

  • Look more closely at isolation and exclusion in elderly and people with disabilities. 

  • Design services around needs and not what is currently on the menu of services. 

  • Encourage more re enablement.

Other Cuts (6 comments)

  • Leisure facilities need promoted and charged at going rate e.g. town hall.
  • Reduce leisure provision and enable larger proportion of income to benefit the council
  • I think there is an over provision, overheads are grossly overrating income received. 
  • Recycling centre -restrict opening a little. Close mid week or reduce hours/evening opening instead during summer.
  • Charge for parking including Alloa as it's a struggle as well as it will earn income
  • Create a Forth Valley resource centre to place children in secure accommodation.

Parent Council briefing

The view that were expressed at this meeting included:- the Council is undercharging for Services; increase the price of breakfast clubs, sports development classes / holiday clubs, music tuition, etc.  Sports development provide a lot of extra curricular activities, which does have a positive impact on the Health & Wellbeing on the kids.  However, there are not enough classes for the most popular choices such as gymnastics but classes that are not popular are run at a probably loss. Music tuition should be kept.  Breakfast Clubs and non curriculum sports were primarily being used as childminding and should be charged at a more realistic rate as the private sector i.e The Peak, but the vulnerable should be free.  Learning Assistants must be kept.  

Catchment areas and buses need to be revisited, e.g. Clackmannan Primary to go to Alloa Academy.  Also there seemed to be a consensus that parents should be expected to contribute towards bus fares.  Transport distance should be put up to maximum to encourage own catchment schools, but there was a mixed reaction due to concerns for children in Sauchie, Menstrie and Dollar.

The management structure in the secondary schools has been cut; does the management structure in the centre needs to be reviewed.

The interdependencies between the cuts doesn't seem to have been considered.  Bringing children currently in residential schools back into the Clacks school system will impact the learning of all children, if support is not put in place. However, this is at a time when the proposal is to cut LA's and teacher pupil ratios.


To help residents focus on the aspects of the budget consultation which directly affect their lives, Alloa Community Council held a budget consultation event at Alloa Town Hall on Tuesday 23rd January 2018.  Forty nine people attended including Clackmannanshire Council Councillors from all political parties, Community Councillors and the local community.  The event allowed residents to contribute to the elements of the budget consultation that they were most interested in by holding themed discussions at tables set up for the different categories.  The community council also asked residents to rate their top three items up for saving that they did not want to lose.  

All the comments that were made have been included in this document, with the number of comments, each bullet point denotes one person’s comments.  I also attended the parent council briefing given by the Chief Education Officer and have included comments for this meeting as well.

To determine what the top three priorities are by those who attended the event.  I put the information in a spreadsheet and gave 3 points for a person’s first choice, 2 points for their second choice and 1 point for their third choice.  I then added the points up and along with the number of votes the results were obtained.  

Here are the top ten services the community does not want to lose.

  1. Learning assistants.

  2. Music Tuition

  3. Public Toilets

  4. Car Parking

  5. School Transport

  6. Brown Bin Collection

  7. Secondary School subject choice

  8. Breakfast club

  9. Non curriculum related sports services

  10. Peripatetic teachers

Education was the area the residents were most vocal about.  In particular people recognised that Learning Assistants allow teachers to teach the whole class and not have to concentrate on individual pupils that have additional support needs.  Here are a couple of quotes: - ‘Learning assistants are essential in schools to raise attainment, improve behaviour and support kids that need it.  Need more LAs if anything’ and ’ There are 4 high tariff children in my 5 year old’s class, if LAs are cut my daughter will not be given the time she deserves’.

Music Tuition is a very emotive cut and I believe has been brought up at all the other public meetings along with an article in the Alloa Advertiser.  Here are a couple of quotes from residents: - ‘Important for children with learning difficulties for memory and sequencing, studies have shown it improves maths attainment.  Direct some of the attainment challenge money to music tuition’ and ‘Music save me during several difficult school years’.

Toilets residents felt is was important to have this facility.

Car parking there were mixed opinions on this.  Residents were concerned that introducing charging would impact on town centre trade but a lot were happy to pay most on a long term basis.  It has been suggested that a Saturday afternoon is a very quiet time for Alloa High Street and have free parking after 2pm to encourage residents into the town.

School Transport was raised as there were residents from the Hillfoots area that attended the event.

Brown bin collections, breakfast clubs and sports services – re-look at it’s revenue streams as most residents were in agreement that they are happy to pay for these services rather than losing them.  At the parent council briefing it was felt that most people that use breakfast clubs and non curriculum related sports services were doing so as a cheap means of childcare.  It was mentioned that The Peak charges competitive rates yet parents still use it as it is cheaper then childcare.  

Secondary school subject choice residents wanted children to go on to positive pathways by not restricting their choices and felt educational attainment needs to increase in Clackmannanshire.  However, this was one area at the parent council briefing that noted there are other ways to deliver this.

Concerns were raised about reducing third sector funding and the impact this will have on an already deprived area, ‘Please don’t under estimate their worth!’  But there was acknowledgment that these organisations could possibly apply for external funding.

Residents felt community halls should remain open but there was no idea on how this could happen apart from charging more.

Waste and recycling the general consensus was not to stop these services but to look at charging and less frequent collections and also the possibility of generating money through recycling projects.   Brown bins residents acknowledged that not everyone, in particular the elderly could not get garden waste to the tip or was able to.  Therefore, were keen to pay to keep this service.

Workforce there was concerns on how cuts would impact on families and how service can still run efficiently.

Income generation the majority of residents were happy to pay more council tax to protect services.

Some radical/larger saving ideas to come out of the event, that have not been put up as cuts include:-

Forth Valley Secure accommodation resource for young people;

Redefine catchment areas. E.g. Clackmannan children feed into Alloa Academy.

Rather than sell of land and buildings which generates money in the short term, lease to make money in the long term by creating a Clackmannanshire Council ‘estate agency’;

Renovate council buildings for housing;

Develop more services on line e.g. book and pay for leisure facilities

Other ideas that have come out of this include:-

Persuade bus companies to put on buses for Alva Academy (currently there is a bus that picks up from outside Lornshill to take children to Alloa Academy) rather than the council providing this;

Improve pathways with lighting to remove the need for school transport.

In conclusion, residents are most concerned about areas that affect them but seem to be willing to pay for services they want to keep.  The wide range of the budget cuts will affect young and old alike and the Community Council felt that it was important to get everyone’s views on issues that will affect the local community not only in the short term, but in the future as well.

Jennie Syme

Chair Alloa Community Council

Find us on Facebook and on Twitter
Alloa Community Council can accept no responsibility for any errors on this site, or responsibility for the content of external sites. 
        © Alloa Community Council 2013
Community Web Kit provided free by BT