Workforce, Pensions and Training

29.01.19

Aberdeen City Council to look at ‘all possible savings’ amid reports of £45m cuts

Aberdeen City Council faces cuts of nearly £45m for this financial year, double the figure initially predicted, and crisis talks will be held this week between council leaders and community groups to identify the savings, it has emerged.

As reported by the Aberdeen Evening Express, the city council’s Marie Boulton revealed the dire forecasted deficit at a community council meeting, admitting that the authority’s position is far worse than previously feared.

Boulton warned that the savings required to balance the budget could come from “absolutely everything” and said Aberdeen was looking at having to save nearly £45m over the next year.

Aberdeen had previously warned of risks to jobs and services, and slammed the Scottish Government last month after it cut the local authority’s general revenue funding grant by nearly £60m.

But Boulton revealed that the council is “probably going to have to save more than double the amount we thought we were” after spending last weekend “going through all the things the council is required to do.”

She said: “Some of the money we do have at our disposal has also been ring-fenced for specific purposes, so we can’t even plan for spending it ourselves.”

The councillor said that “absolutely everything was being looked at” in terms of cuts, although the council was also looking at ways to limit the potential impact on service users.

She said “we will endeavour to protect services as much as we possibly can” but stated that the cuts put the authority under a significant amount of pressure.

Options are now being prepared ahead of a council budget meeting on 5 March.

Aberdeen City Council reported in February that it was cutting up to 370 jobs in a bid to save £10m through voluntary redundancies.

This was followed by the council’s leader Douglas Lumsden calling on CoSLA, local businesses, residents, councillors and the trade unions to condemn the finance secretary for Scotland after it was announced that the general revenue grant given to Aberdeen would be one of the lowest in the country.

Image credit - T. Thielemans

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