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Moray Council gives green light to money saving action plan


By Alan Beresford

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Moray Council have unveiled Best Value action plan. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Moray Council have unveiled Best Value action plan. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

MORAY Council has approved an action plan in order to save the local authority money.

Agreed at the full council meeting of Tuesday, June 11, it came after consideration of the findings of the Accounts Commission’s Best Value report.

Progress was noted in the commission’s findings, particularly around cross-party working, a number of recommendations were made.

However, the council is committed to further improvement and has approved an action plan to continue that journey over the next three years.

Key recommendations from the Accounts Commission’s report were: Members should work effectively together to act on key decisions in an effective and efficient manner; The council should ensure all Audit and Scrutiny Committee members are clear on their remit; Undertake further consultation and engagement with communities with more Participatory Budget involvement; Finalise performance and delivery framework for new corporate plan; Implement annual self-evaluation to identify strengths as well as areas for improvement; Report performance in a more timely manner; Increase pace of transformation and identify savings to ensure financial sustainability; Keep affordability of capital plans and related revenue expenditure under review; Monitor any slippage in capital plan; Review forecasting process to ensure most accurate projections.

Members and officers have worked together to develop an action plan that identifies actions under the seven best value themes of vision and leadership; governance and accountability; effective use of resources; partnerships and collaborative working; sustainable development; and fairness and equality, which has been agreed by the council.

The action plan will be monitored on a quarterly basis and reviewed annually with a commitment to an annual self-assessment to make sure progress is made through a continued drive for improvement by the council.

John Mundell OBE, Moray Council's interim chief executive.
John Mundell OBE, Moray Council's interim chief executive.

Moray Council’s Interim chief executive, John Mundell OBE, said the plan continues the progress already made on collaborative leadership: “Financial sustainability for the council is the ultimate goal here and to achieve that we need to see further progress in effective decision making, collaborative leadership and appropriate scrutiny.

“My role is to facilitate and support that to make sure Moray Council is well equipped to deal with whatever challenges come down the line. I believe all elected members are aligned on that focus and officers stand ready to work with them to make our local authority the best it can be.”

Council leader Councillor Kathleen Robertson. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Council leader Councillor Kathleen Robertson. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Moray Council Leader, Councillor Kathleen Robertson (Conservative, Forres), added her support for the action plan.

She said: “Each individual and team within the council has a part to play in making sure we’re delivering best value for Moray and that goes for working with our external partners too.

“While planning for the future and making best use of resources we must look outwith the council walls and work even more closely with our communities.”

SNP group co-leader Councillor Graham Leadbitter.
SNP group co-leader Councillor Graham Leadbitter.

Co-leader of the SNP group in Moray Council, Councillor Graham Leadbitter (Elgin City South), commented: “Sustainability in financial planning underpins the ability for Moray Council to run smoothly and efficiently, and that clarity of focus must be maintained while we transform our services.

“There is no doubt we’ve seen progress in collaborative working in the chamber and we must also thank officers for the work they put in to improve relations and allow us as elected officials to make, often tough, decisions to move Moray Council forward.”

Councillor Sandy Keith, the Labour group leader. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Councillor Sandy Keith, the Labour group leader. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Leader of Moray Council’s Labour group, Councillor Sandy Keith (Elgin City North) added: “Getting our governance, scrutiny and acceptable boundaries in place is critical to making sure we, as elected representatives, are able to make the decisions needed to keep Moray and Moray Council moving forward.

“Ultimately, the people of Moray hold us to account based on our ability to do that and we’re determined to succeed on their behalf.”




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