“It’s bad enough that the UK Government is cutting Scotland’s budget without imposing further costs on councils including having to deal with the introduction of a new £1 coin,” said Councillor Mags MacLaren (SNP – Paisley North West).
A new £1 coin is due to be introduced on 28th March 2017, ostensibly to make it more secure and more difficult to counterfeit. The current £1 coin was introduced about 30 years ago but it is estimated that one in thirty coins in circulation is a counterfeit, which led to plans for the new coin. This is a twelve-sided coin with extra security features and although only slightly larger than the current £1 coin, it is both lighter and thinner.
This means that many companies now have to adapt any coin collection machines – such as machines which dispense parking tickets have to be upgraded to accept the new coins. This is where the main reason for that Renfrewshire Council has put aside £100,000 to deal with this changeover.
Councillor Mags MacLaren added:
“I’m not sure how many people are actual aware of the new £1 coin coming into circulation and I was surprised when reading the council’s budget papers that up to £100,000 may be needed to deal with this changeover.
“This is £100,000 that could be better used on local services.
“The existing £1 coins go out of circulation between March and October this year,
and by 16th October businesses will no longer have to accept the current £1 coin.”