MORAY Council has today set its budget for 2018/19 to secure more than £6.2 million of savings.
Among the decisions taken by the ruling Independent-Conservative administration were the closure or community asset transfer of town halls and community centres across Moray, a move to three-weekly collection of green bins, reduction of public toilet provision and a £1.2 million reduction in funding for health and social care in Moray.
For the financial year 2018/19, the roads maintenance budget will be reduced by £500,000, £30,000 funding for the Citizens Advice Bureau will be withdrawn and a management restructure will save £500,000.
Moray Council will also introduce ways to generate more income, including scrapping the 10 per cent Council Tax discount for those with a second home in Moray, and levying charges for the collection of white goods for disposal. Council Tax will rise by three per cent to raise an additional £1.2 million.
More than £4 million from Moray Council’s reserves will be used to balance the 2018/19 budget.
Following a public consultation, a number of the proposed cuts were removed.
These included proposals to cut spending on children and adolescent mental health service, and social, emotional and behavioural needs were withdrawn by the Administration Group in response to the public consultation.
Home school link workers will remain, although three current vacancies within the service will not be filled in order to save £65,000.
The administration's budget was approved following a 13-11 vote.
Much more on this story, including widespread reaction, in this Friday's Northern Scot.