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Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.

 

DFM sets Budget Date

Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary John Swinney will publish financial plans for the Scottish Government on December 16, 2015.

In what will be a ‘bold, ambitious budget for the future’, the Deputy First Minister will outline budget proposals whilst meeting legislative requirements to have an approved Scottish Budget in place for the start of the next financial year.

Despite the UK Government Spending Review being delayed, the Scottish Government’s budget timing will allow the longest possible opportunity for parliamentary scrutiny.

Mr Swinney said:

“In response to the later than usual UK Spending Review publication date and despite the continued uncertainty around our financial settlement, I have today written to the Finance Committee to seek their agreement that the Scottish Government publish the Draft Budget on December 16, 2015.

“This approach will give the Scottish Government and our partners as much time as possible after the UK Spending Review on November 25 to develop proposals for a bold, ambitious budget for the future. I am determined that measures brought forward in my budget will demonstrate the Scottish Government’s commitment to do everything within our power and means to protect the most vulnerable from the UK Government's austerity approach. We have been clear as a government that we will tackle inequality through economic growth, and my budget will advance that vision.

“In years to come, the additional responsibilities we will get through the Scotland Bill will enable this, and future Scottish Governments, to take a distinctive approach to the challenges we face, to design policies and programmes that align with our vision of a stronger, wealthier and fairer society. This government has used the tax powers we have to support those on low incomes, such as removing tax on buying a home from the 50% of people at the bottom of the market. When we set out our tax plans they will be driven by our principles of establishing a system that is fair and progressive.”

Waste Regulations Are Changing

Why recycle as a business or organisation?

  • It’s the law. If you don’t comply, you can be liable for a fine of up to £10,000.

  • From 1 January 2016, you must recycle food waste if your business prepares and / or sells food and produces 5kg or more of food waste (unless excluded by rural locations).

  • Recycling reduces the need for landfill and the mining of raw materials.

  • Recycling helps prevent the production of environmentally damaging gases (such as methane) produced when biodegradable waste is sent to landfill.

All Scottish organisations, regardless of size, should already be separating the following materials for recycling;

  • Glass (including rinsed drinks bottles and food jars)

  • Metal (including rinsed cans and tins)

  • Plastic (including rinsed drinks bottles and food containers)

  • Cardboard (preferably flattened)

  • Paper (clean paper only)

  • Food waste (from food preparation and leftovers)

Are you exempt from separating food waste?

You are exempt from separating food waste only if you;

  • Don’t prepare or sell food, or

  • Qualify as a rural location (Check using the Rural postcode finder tool), or

  • Produce less than 5kg of food waste per week

If you don’t recycle the fine can be up to £10,000

 

5 easy steps to stay within the law

  1. Look at what waste you are producing and get the right service from your waste contractor.

  2. Train your staff and label bins.

  3. Label bins stating clearly what should be recycled and ensure staff know what goes where. Use the free online poster creator tool  to help staff to recycle effectively.

  4. Think before you throw. Don’t mix food waste, recyclables and non-recyclables. Only use black bags for non-recyclable waste.

  5. Think before you throw.

 

Get it right

Separate materials correctly in bins clearly labelled to collect food waste, recyclables and non-recyclables.

What happens to food waste?

Food waste is collected by your waste contractor. It is unloaded at the processing plant where it is shredded and heat treated in a sealed tank.

This can then generate energy and helps to produce agricultural fertilizers too

DGFirst Predicts Underspend

The DGFirst Management Committee will hear on November 12th that DGFirst is projected to underspend by £130,000 on its revenue budget for 2015 – 2016.

The services covered in this report are those for which DGFirst receives a revenue budget allocation from a strategic commissioning service, including roads and infrastructure, waste collection, street cleansing, schools meals, grounds maintenance, community safety, and care and support services.

The committee will also receive a report showing that DGFirst’s trading operation is currently projecting a surplus of £2,200 against a budgeted surplus of £60,000. This would lead to a £57,800 overspend against the general fund budget for trading services. However, DGFirst is currently progressing a range of measures to ensure that it avoids a budget overspend and it is expected that, by the end of the financial year, this will be achieved.

These services operate on a trading basis or are fully allocated at the year end. They recover costs by charging internal of external customers for the services they provide. They include building cleaning, building services, roads maintenance, vehicle maintenance, and engineering.

Councillor Archie Dryburgh, chairman of the DGFirst Management Committee, said, “The DGFirst management team actively reviews expenditure and income across the service and reports to committee regularly. This close scrutiny enables us to monitor and actively control budgets, ensure financial prudence, and meet targets.”

The view the reports in full see: http://egenda.dumgal.gov.uk/aksdumgal/users/public/admin/kab14.pl?operation=SUBMIT&meet=30&cmte=FMC&grpid=public&arc=71

Young People ‘Make it happen’ During Global Entrepreneurship Week

From the 16-22 November, Global Entrepreneurship Week will inspire people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.  It’s the world’s largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship. Each year, it plays a critical role in encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to consider starting up their own business.  

In keeping with this year’s ‘Make It Happen’ theme, Business Gateway Dumfries and Galloway will be hosting various events throughout the region as part of the global initiative, including social media taster events for would-be entrepreneurs and existing businesses to find out how social media channels can be very effective tools for any new or growing business.  

Councillor Colin Smyth, Chair of the Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, which includes Business Gateway services delivered by Dumfries and Galloway Council says: “Following on from the great success of Dumfries and Galloway Business Week in October, which celebrated and promoted the diversity of  businesses in our region, this time we’re going global and promoting social media as an effective business tool to reach global markets, whether you’re an established business or just at the business idea stage” 

As well as the workshops, there is also an opportunity to meet a business adviser to discuss your business or business idea after the workshops on a drop in basis without an appointment. The week will also see the launch of a pilot mentoring programme for young entrepreneurs in the region to help them survive the vulnerable early years of trading.  

Councillor Smyth went on to say: “Building the local economy is a key Council priority and we now have a dedicated Business Adviser working with young entrepreneurs. Ensuring their survival is vital, but as existing mentoring programmes aren’t always appropriate for these young entrepreneurs we’d like to match them with other business people who have been through the business startup process and can provide a listening ear or provide encouragement when it’s needed” 

Anybody interested in becoming a volunteer mentor should contact Lindsey Mason, Business Adviser Young Entrepreneurs on 01387 260171 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   

The social media workshops will be taking place on Monday 16th November in Sanquhar,   Tuesday 17th November in Annan, Wednesday 18th November in Stranraer and rounding off with Thursday 19th November in Dumfries. For more details contact Business Gateway on 01387 808738 or book online at www.bgateway.com/local-offices/dumfries-and-galloway/events

Switch and Save with UtilityWise

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At Utilitywise we understand the benefits that switching your business energy supplier can bring. Switching your energy supplier can:
• help you discover new deals from energy suppliers you may not be aware of; • give you access to longer or shorter contract terms that could help your business bottom line; • be an opportunity to resolve administrative problems than can occur with your meters or your     contract end dates.

Switching expertise that really helps
We’ve helped hundreds of businesses switch energy suppliers over the past twelve months. We help 80% of our new customers switch to new energy suppliers, while 47% of our existing customers switch to new suppliers when their energy contracts come to an end – we’re energy switching experts.
We’re also energy market experts, and that means we have access to energy suppliers with which you may not be familiar and to contractual terms that you may not be able to access by going direct. For instance, we can offer fixed price five year energy contracts up to twelve months in advance of your current contract end date, a deal you won’t find anywhere else in the market.

Reducing your administrative burden
Switching energy suppliers offers even more benefits to businesses operating across multiple premises. Utilitywise can help you align your contract end dates and suppliers so that in the future all of your energy contracts can be renewed at the same time. This can substantially reduce your administrative burden, saving you time and resource.

Reducing your energy consumption to help with your costs
Switching energy suppliers with Utilitywise means you’ll also have access to a wide range of energy efficiency opportunities and get help to reduce your energy consumption. Utilitywise offers a wide range of energy efficiency solutions for businesses of all sizes, ranging from Utility Insight, our web-based meter data reporting platform, to energy audits and financing for energy efficiency projects.

Safe, secure, and simple – switch with a single phone call
It’s easy to switch energy suppliers with Utilitywise – all it takes is a phone call. To find out how your business can benefit from switching energy suppliers with Utilitywise, call us now on 0845 653 1034 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
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