Council proposes budget for county’s needs

Angus Council is aiming to make �19 million of savings over the next three years.
Angus Council is aiming to make �19 million of savings over the next three years.

As expected there are few surprises in the forthcoming Angus Council budget which will go before councillors for approval today (Thursday).

The authority’s finance convener, Arbroath councillor Alex King, briefed the press on Monday morning and reiterated that this three-year budget plan which aims to make in the region of £19 million in efficiency savings, is not about wants, but needs.

Councillor King told the press that Angus Council could no longer afford piecemeal shaving of budgets and would need to take a radical approach to its business.

He said: “We can’t go back and keep on salami slicing, we’ve got to the point where we’re putting the salami through the slicer and it’s our fingers that are being sliced.”

The authority’s directorates were instructed to provide cost savings of 15 per cent each, totalling around £30 million.

Mr King said: “We knew that would throw out some things that were politically unacceptable to ensure that we got enough things that were politically acceptable.”

The new budget requires Angus Council to be more efficient in staffing, deliver a number of services differently, reduce or stop some services, and in other places attempt to increase income.

Reductions in the council staff are also expected, with the workforce set to drop from 4,800 in 2011-2012 to 4,200 in 2016-17 mainly through natural wastage and voluntary severance, with no current plans for compulsory redundancies.