Council’s budget challenge pledge

DESPITE a challenging financial outlook Angus Council is pledging to plan ahead and make responsible decisions to protect services to local people.

After considering a range of budget scenarios, the authority estimates that it will have to save £26m over the next four years.

Finance spokesman Councillor Mark Salmond has assured local people that all options for balancing the books are being explored. He said: “There are a range of options available to us as we seek to achieve these savings – it’s not all about direct cuts to budgets.

“We will need to be rigorous in our drive to reduce costs, to redesign services and to reduce demand for services where we can.

“We have strong levels of reserves, low debt and are very good at collecting the money we are owed. All of these things will be increasingly important as we manage our way through the difficult financial situation ahead.”

Mr Salmond emphasised that Angus Council has a record of prudent and effective financial management, and of taking difficult long-term budget decisions when they need to be taken.

He added: “We must not let the scale of the savings required deflect us away from making best use of the significant resources we will still have to spend, and ensuring that we continue to deliver first class and cost effective services to our citizens.

“We must continue to make capital investment in the council’s assets, despite the financial challenges, and seek to fund key investment options that provide good payback returns.

“Angus people can be assured that we will continue to responsibly manage the public finances we are entrusted with in the light of the most serious and prolonged financial challenge the council has ever faced.”