People to have a say in budget plans

Councillor Richard Thomson, co-leader of Aberdeenshire Council.
Councillor Richard Thomson, co-leader of Aberdeenshire Council.

The public will have a say in shaping Aberdeenshire Council’s budget next year.

Councillors are facing £18 million of cuts.

The council will gauge people’s views ahead of a crunch budget meeting in February.

Co-leader Councillor Richard Thomson said: “We want to hear from everyone in Aberdeenshire as the decisions we take in February will affect us all.

“This is your chance to make your views known on the proposals we have set out. Councillors are here to represent your views on the services that matter most to you and want to hear from you.”

Councillor Thomson last week set out the administration’s proposals for delivering the necessary savings in order to balance the books.

He suggested that around half could be found through a range of measures including improved contract management of supplies and services, shared services with other local authorities and efficiencies in business support.

He also indicated that savings could be made through new approaches to waste management, a more cohesive council-wide transport strategy, increased income and better use of the office estate.

Democratic Independent and Green Group Councillor Martin Ford put forward a draft budget indicating where savings could be made. These include £4m on use of underspends; £2m on a reduced working balance; £1.2m on loan financing costs, savings from comfort partnerships,lower energy costs, income from renewables, investment in LED replacement investment in LED replacement street lights, a cut to ACSEF funding and revisions to car parking charges.

He also indicated that efficiency savings could be delivered across the council totalling nearly £10m.