Published: 04/12/2017 16:27 - Updated: 04/12/2017 18:08

£6.7million set to be cut from council budget

Moray CouncilCouncillors have this afternoon approved £6.7million of potential cost-saving measures.

The measures, which will not be made public until tomorrow morning, will now be put to Moray residents as part of a consultation on the local authority's overall £198 million budget.

But even with the £6.7million of savings, the council will still need to take about £9million from its £14.8 million of reserves to make the next budget balance.

Speaking after this afternoon's special meeting of the full council, the leader George Alexander urged people to get involved.

He said: "Unfortunately, due to the financial situation the council faces, savings must be maintained at the level which is being proposed. We are keen to hear alternative options for savings and welcome the input of other fully-funded alternatives to what is being suggested.

“We know that this is not a pleasant announcement to be making at this time of year, but we have to set a balanced budget by 14 February. No proposals will be confirmed until then.

“Any changes in practice will not take effect until the new financial year.”

Information on the proposals will be live on the council’s website and social media on Tuesday morning, with hard copies available at Access Points and libraries shortly afterwards.

Inside, as well as proposals, will be details on how people can have their say on the forthcoming budget. Responses have to be received by midnight on January 14.

Details of Scottish council’s grant allocation from the government will be made public on December 14.

Speaking after the meeting, SNP co-leader, Graham Leadbitter, said: “Over the last few years the SNP opposition in Moray Council has proposed a variety of significant cost saving measures.

"It is good that at least some of those long overdue measures are now in the Tory/Independent budget proposals. 

“There are a large number of proposals in the council administration’s budget plans, and while we have concerns about some of the proposals, we accept that the Tory and Independent administration have a democratic right to consult on their budget. 

“The SNP is continuing to hold budget meetings with council officers and we will scrutinise the administration’s proposals line by line in the coming weeks in the run up to February’s budget meeting.”

Co-leader Councillor Shona Morrison said: "We would urge people to make their feelings known about the Tory/Independent proposals through the consultation and we will be looking at the responses very carefully. We are also keen to hear from folk directly with comments and ideas."

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