Dumfries and Galloway Council administration unveils draft budget
The Labour administration of Dumfries and Galloway Council has unveiled its draft budget proposals for the region.
They include a £3.5m-a-year "youth guarantee" to drive down unemployment among young people.
Capital spending commitments include increased funding for school building, new flood protection schemes and town centre regeneration.
Council leader Ronnie Nicholson said building the local economy was the authority's "number one priority".
"Our ambitious jobs plan aims to invest £3.5m-a-year to deliver 'A Youth Guarantee for DG'," he said.
"Every single young person in our region will be offered a place in education or training or a job within four months of them leaving school - that's a guarantee."
Other priorities of the draft budget plan are:
- More funding towards school building
- Flood protection plans for Langholm and Newton Stewart
- Town centre regeneration support in Stranraer, Dumfries and Gretna
- The development of a regional archive centre
However, the authority will also have to make savings as it seeks to cut £32m from its spending over the next three years.
The minority administration hopes to achieve part of that goal by cutting the number of departments from six to four - saving £12m in total.
It claims that can still allow for an increase in both the social work and education budgets for the year ahead.
The draft budget will be debated by councillors at a full council meeting on Thursday when other political groups can also table their proposals.
It is intended they will be followed by public consultation meetings in Dalbeattie, Stranraer, Dumfries and Annan.