Fife Council’s Policy & Coordination Committee has agreed to spend an additional £6.21 million on immediate work to help Fife, and its residents, recover and build back from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most of the funding will be spent in the next six months so that teams can catch up on backlogs, or improve service levels, in a range of areas including:
- planned and reactive road maintenance
- improving road drainage and weed clearing
- repairing sports pavilions and play parks
- adapting homes to meet people’s care needs
- processing crisis and community care grants
- supporting tourist associations and training people in skills for today’s job market
- cleaning up after environmental vandalism and demolishing some derelict buildings
Council Co-leader, Cllr David Ross said: “Given the tight public sector budgets over recent years, our services were operating on a pretty lean basis before Covid hit. This didn’t offer much resilience for high illness rates, isolations and staff needing to be redeployed to new pandemic-related work.
“Our teams have been doing a fantastic job responding to the increased demands across the board, but they’re under immense pressure and, through no fault of officers, we’re seeing some service failures.
“The time is right to use previously unallocated Covid funding to help cope with backlogs of work and issues that are key to the Kingdom’s recovery.
“The funding we’ve agreed today will help us tackle very visible problems like road surfacing and overgrown weeds, as well as providing support behind the scenes for things like the tourist industry and a range of employability programmes to help get people back into Fife and back into work.”
Council Co-leader, Cllr David Alexander said: “We played a crucial role in supporting Fife’s businesses and communities throughout lockdowns and we’ll continue that role in helping everyone recover.
“This short-term spending plan is really all about wellbeing. The wellbeing of our local environment, the wellbeing of our local economy and individual people’s wellbeing.
“We’re focussed on improving places and infrastructure because it’s important both residents and visitors can enjoy the facilities and great outdoors that Fife has to offer. And we’re supporting opportunities for local industry and individuals to learn and thrive in an altered world.
“We recognise the pandemic has hit some people harder than others. Doing more to tackle the backlog of crisis, isolation and community care grants and the adaptations some people are waiting for at home, will go some way to address this.
“The extra investment will make a difference in Fife and people will see it.”