Green councillor: “invest savings in renewables”

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GREEN councillor Martin Ford has made the case for Aberdeenshire Council to invest in renewable energy - in a bid to stop education cuts.

Cllr Ford has written to council chief executive Colin Mackenzie making the case for investing public money in renewable energy projects in a bid to source new revenue streams.

Earlier this year, the Ellon Times reported that Aberdeenshire Council was considering renewables schemes at a number of quarries in the area.

Speaking to the Times, he said: “Aberdeenshire Council underspent its budget during 2011/12 by close to £20 million and is now considering how best to use some of that underspend. Council finance officers have advised against committing to recurring expenditure on the basis of underspending resulting from ‘one-off’ causes.

“But by making an investment in renewable energy, the Council could use a one-off capital sum to generate an on-going income that could fund the running costs of services into the future. An investment in renewable energy could off-set cuts in government grant by providing an alternative income.

“This is exactly what the Council needs; a cost-effective way of turning an unplanned surplus now into an income to support on-going public service provision.”