Monday, September 17, 2012

Council Cuts Consultation 26th September at Rosebank Primary School

This observer thought that the next ward forum in Nairn would be about the town centre but it seems there is to be a meeting about where cuts should be made. Here's what the Highland Council have to say in a press release:

Two meetings in a series of 12 public consultation events on The Highland Council’s budget for 2012 – 2017 are being held next week at:
Brora Community Centre, Brora School on Monday 24 September at 6:30pm; and
Rosebank Primary School, Nairn on Wednesday 26 September at 6:30pm.

The meetings are joint arrangements of the Council’s Ward Forums for East Sutherland and Edderton, and Nairn.

The three-month long public consultation aims to help bridge a projected budget gap of almost £30 million over the next two financial years. A series of Ward Forums as well as briefing events with business, voluntary and specialist groups are planned before the end of October to complement the views expressed by staff, trade unions and the Council’s Citizen Panel of 2,300 residents.

The public can also access the budget information and comment online at

The aim is to bring a report to the full Council in December and agree the budget for 2013/14 and 2014/15 in February of next year.

The savings required by the Council in 2013/14 and 2014/15 are £29.7 million. Already proposed are savings of £17.8 million, leaving a gap of £11.9 million.
The public will be asked to comment on four main areas of operation, including: Education;
Ways of working;
Infrastructure and resources; and
The environment.

Leading the consultation is Councillor Dave Fallows, Chairman of the Council’s Finance Housing and Resources Committee. He will be attending the public consultation meetings and moderating a budget blog on the Council’s web site. Each week, he will introduce a new subject for discussion on the blog.

Council Leader Councillor Drew Hendry said: “The assistance we received from the public two years ago was invaluable and therefore we intend to build on this success in repeating the exercise. The financial environment looks challenging even beyond the next two financial years so the consultation will also assist in our longer term budget planning.”

Councillor Fallows recalled the success of a similar budget consultation in 2010 when the comments of the public helped the Council agree a package of savings for three years totalling £55 million. The public had told the Council it needed to look at income generation, management costs and making the best use of its assets.

The Council had since introduced advertising in Council publications and on its web site; reduced management costs by £1.3 million; and transferred the running of culture and leisure services to a not-for-profit organisation – High Life Highland.

The Council had also moved to fortnightly bin collections and reduced costs on street lighting through dimming and off-peak switch off of lights.

He said: “Following the close of our consultation, all comments will be collated and analysed. The findings will be considered and firm budget proposals will be developed. Some of these proposals will be considered when the Council meets in December and the final proposals at a meeting of the Council in February, next year. We will assess any proposals for the impact they may have on different groups within our community.”

1 comment:

I didn't vote for these cu*ts said...

If the public is now being put in charge of cuts consultation might I suggest that a layer of management might now be removed from the council with obvious cost savings?
Also give more power at a local level to our community councils, especially the likes of planning. I'm sure there are many other areas that could be devolved locally as well, again with budget savings