Social media trends hit council’s budget

The popularity of downloads has blown a £100,000 hole in the income the council previously collected from DVD rental.

In a report to councillors at Tuesday’s Community and Customer Service Committee the pressure that department’s budget was coming under reflected a sea change in the social media and cultural habits of communities in Galloway.

Concerning the £102,675 shortfall in the department’s budgeted income target for Community Service Centres and Libraries, the report states: “Income remains relatively consistent, however, the target remains unachievable as a result of market changes such as a reduction in DVD rental.”

The wider choice of wedding venues now available to couples has also hit Dumfries and Galloway Council’s registration service hard financially.

The service is £81,685 in the red due to an eight per cent reduction in the numbers of registry office weddings and ceremonies over past three years after many couples turned their backs on a traditional registry office service. Since 2002 a civil marriage can take place either in the Registration Office or at an approved venue.

The hire of MUGAs (multi use games areas) has fallen steadily in recent years due to the development of 3G facilities resulting in a migration of service users, leaving a budget shortfall of £22,639.

Swimming pools are £18,409 under their income target due to a national decline in swimming attendance and caravan sites are looking at a £43,239 shortfall.

A further report will update councillors at the committee’s December meeting.