The Perth and Kinross Liberal Democrats have supported the 2021/22 Perth and Kinross Council budget, supporting investment in young people's wellbeing, reducing inequalities across Perth and Kinross, and safer seats with active travel zones.
Cllr Peter Barret, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats group on Perth and Kinross Council, said: “In our budget we put recovery first. The covid lockdown has had a real impact on peoples mental and physical health and well-being, we want to put support in place to help the most vulnerable members of our community who have experienced the worst impacts of the pandemic. Our priorities include support for young people in particular and to tackle digital, social and financial exclusion amongst the whole population. There is a tsunami of covid post traumatic stress building in our community that we need to prepare for."
Cllr Barret continued: "Economic recovery is central to our budget and to the Council’s Well-being and recovery plan. We want to support regeneration of our city and town centres to tackle the blight of empty shops and buildings and we put forward practical support to repurpose these premises. Finally our roads and pavements have taken a heck of a beating during the severe winter which has created a further backlog of repairs. Road repairs and expanding safer streets for active travel will feature in our budget.”
Skilful political negotiation and positive engagement by the Scottish Liberal Democrats meant they did particularly well in the final budget with all of their budget proposals included in whole or very substantial part. Cllr Peter Barrett said: “Every single line of our amendment has been by the incorporated into the Budget. We highlighted where the Conservatives budget fell far short of supporting the most vulnerable members of our community. We put forward a budget to put recovery first and that was what was agreed. During the pandemic people want to see their representatives working together positively to achieve the best for our community. I am glad that we are able to demonstrate that so clearly today.”
The Lib Dem budget proposals included investment in young people’s well-being (£90k), economic recovery funding to bring empty buildings into use (£250k), reducing inequalities to improving digital , social and financial inclusion (£150k), tackling social isolation with training for volunteers and community befriending £150k), funding the Loch Leven Heritage Trail (£150k), safer streets for active travel and 20mph zones (£200k) and more funding to repair potholes and winter damage to roads.