Administration’s 100-day target

COUNCIL leaders in Aberdeenshire have set a 100-day target to bring forward priority areas for development.

Investment in towns and villages, assistance to small and medium sized business and a focus on tourism and the hospitality industry are expected to provide a much-needed boost to the local economy.

The administration has also committed to increasing pre-school and nursery provision and increasing care at home services for older people and accelerating plans to improve roads, provide affordable housing and replace schools and care homes.

The announcement comes as the Aberdeenshire Alliance launches its vision for the next five years, with a cash injection provided to each of the six development areas.

The money will come from one-off savings the council has generated over the last 12 months.

Savings of £11million were announced in April, and as the end of year accounts are being finalised, the savings are larger than were forecast in April – with possibly as much as £20 million being made by the authority through on-going efficiency projects.

Last month, the Aberdeenshire Alliance - made up of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and independents - was formed to take on the administration of the council, and has since then been putting together kits 0plan of action.

It has set out its programme of work which reflects the main priorities for the council over the next five years.

Council leader, Councillor Jim Gifford, said: “In developing our five year plan, we have listened to what our residents are telling us they want to see happen.

“We believe that Aberdeenshire Council is widely recognised as an effective, efficient and responsible local authority.

“We want to build on this and continue to deliver excellent local services to and for our residents.

“The 100-day pledge demonstrates that we mean business. The projects we’ve chosen will make an important contribution to kick-start the economy, and respond to issues that we know are important to local people.”

Officers will draw up proposals for each of the development areas and these will be presented at the next meeting of the full council on June 28.