Recommendations on Aberdeen City Council’s draft Business Plan for the next five will be considered by the Full Council on 15 December.

Finance and Resources Committee members (the Committee) today agreed the recommendations of the City Council’s ruling Administration on the policy options contained in the draft Five Year Business Plan should be presented to the full council for further decisions.

The City Council has published a colour-coded version of the Priority Based Budgeting: Final Draft Report.

The colour green indicates that the Administration is recommending to the Full Council that the savings be accepted.

The colour amber indicates that the Finance and Resources Committee is recommending that further reports be drawn up with more information about the potential impact of making the saving, or with alternative ways of making the saving.

Policy options coloured in red are the budget savings which the Committee recommended should not be accepted at this time but which may be re-visited before the City Council’s budget-setting day in February and in light of the detailed budget settlement for Aberdeen City Council, which will be announced by the Scottish Government on 8 December.

The only exceptions are – lines ACC_SO18 (page 39 of the report) Council-wide Options – permit Chief Executive to decide on management structure savings; line CG_LDS_ 07b (page 38) Corporate governance Stop/Reduce – Council committees aligned to statutory minimum; review in 2012; line CG_LDS_ 07e (page 38) Corporate Governance Stop/Reduce – 5% reduction in Statutory Responsibility Allowances Enhancement; CS_FS03 (page 38) Corporate Governance Stop/Reduce – reduce Fairer Scotland Fund by £750,000, not £1 million, and hold community summit.

Finance and Resources convener Councillor Kevin Stewart said: “No one enters elected office to make cuts but unfortunately the depth of savings we are required to make in these extremely difficult economic times gives us no choice but to do so.

“We have some extremely difficult decisions to make over the next few weeks and months to make sure we get through the next five-year period.

“Those decisions will affect all services right across the council. It is impossible to protect any area from the savings we will have to make. But what this Administration can promise is that we will set a budget according to the priorities of the council, the citizens and our partners.

“We will make sure that the most vulnerable people are protected, that the economy of this city remains vibrant, that school attainment is improved and that we manage our waste better. We will do our best for Aberdeen in these difficult times.

“We will continue to consult closely with the public and our partners in the public sector, voluntary sector and business communities between now and February. But people have the right to know now the Administration’s thinking on how we should balance the books.”

Today’s recommendations from the Committee were on the policy options contained in the Priority Based Budgeting Final Draft Report, which is forming the basis of consultations with the people of Aberdeen, the city’s business, voluntary and academic sectors, and with other public sector partner organisations.

The report – in which £150 million of potential savings were identified – was the result of more than five months of detailed work by City Council officials to define existing services, establish current costs, and then draw up policy options. The review covered more than 200 services and resulted in some 750 options, which are laid out in four categories –

* Transformation or Strategic options, which change the nature of the service delivery;
* Efficiency options, which do not change the nature of a service but focus on efficiency and effectiveness;
* Efficiency-with-barriers options, which would change the nature of service delivery and require some change to legislation;
* Stop/Reduce options, which would cut the level of service or result in a service no longer being delivered.

The 5 Year Business Plan approach is a fundamentally new way of planning future spending and investment in the city and is based on Aberdeen City Council’s six key priorities –

* provide for the needs of the most vulnerable people;
* help to ensure that all schoolchildren reach their potential;
* manage waste better and increase recycling;
* encourage new affordable housing;
* ensure a sustainable economic future for the city;
* ensure efficient and effective delivery of services by the Council and with its partners.

The City Council is making a major effort to gather the views of as many citizens as possible before finalising the Five Year Business Plan. Around 100 Information Points have been set up across the city to allow people to have their say by filling in questionnaires on spending and services. Online comments are being collected on the City Council’s website at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk, where the questionnaires are also available. Over 1,000 have been returned so far.

More than 300 people have attended public meetings. In excess of 100 of the city’s top stakeholders have also been involved in consultations.

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Published On: Tue, Dec 7th, 2010 at 9:48am

City Council draft Business Plan

Recommendations on Aberdeen City Council’s draft Business Plan for the next five will be considered by the Full Council on 15 December.

Finance and Resources Committee members (the Committee) today agreed the recommendations of the City Council’s ruling Administration on the policy options contained in the draft Five Year Business Plan should be presented to the full council for further decisions.

The City Council has published a colour-coded version of the Priority Based Budgeting: Final Draft Report.

The colour green indicates that the Administration is recommending to the Full Council that the savings be accepted.

The colour amber indicates that the Finance and Resources Committee is recommending that further reports be drawn up with more information about the potential impact of making the saving, or with alternative ways of making the saving.

Policy options coloured in red are the budget savings which the Committee recommended should not be accepted at this time but which may be re-visited before the City Council’s budget-setting day in February and in light of the detailed budget settlement for Aberdeen City Council, which will be announced by the Scottish Government on 8 December.

The only exceptions are – lines ACC_SO18 (page 39 of the report) Council-wide Options – permit Chief Executive to decide on management structure savings; line CG_LDS_ 07b (page 38) Corporate governance Stop/Reduce – Council committees aligned to statutory minimum; review in 2012; line CG_LDS_ 07e (page 38) Corporate Governance Stop/Reduce – 5% reduction in Statutory Responsibility Allowances Enhancement; CS_FS03 (page 38) Corporate Governance Stop/Reduce – reduce Fairer Scotland Fund by £750,000, not £1 million, and hold community summit.

Finance and Resources convener Councillor Kevin Stewart said: “No one enters elected office to make cuts but unfortunately the depth of savings we are required to make in these extremely difficult economic times gives us no choice but to do so.

“We have some extremely difficult decisions to make over the next few weeks and months to make sure we get through the next five-year period.

“Those decisions will affect all services right across the council. It is impossible to protect any area from the savings we will have to make. But what this Administration can promise is that we will set a budget according to the priorities of the council, the citizens and our partners.

“We will make sure that the most vulnerable people are protected, that the economy of this city remains vibrant, that school attainment is improved and that we manage our waste better. We will do our best for Aberdeen in these difficult times.

“We will continue to consult closely with the public and our partners in the public sector, voluntary sector and business communities between now and February. But people have the right to know now the Administration’s thinking on how we should balance the books.”

Today’s recommendations from the Committee were on the policy options contained in the Priority Based Budgeting Final Draft Report, which is forming the basis of consultations with the people of Aberdeen, the city’s business, voluntary and academic sectors, and with other public sector partner organisations.

The report – in which £150 million of potential savings were identified – was the result of more than five months of detailed work by City Council officials to define existing services, establish current costs, and then draw up policy options. The review covered more than 200 services and resulted in some 750 options, which are laid out in four categories –

* Transformation or Strategic options, which change the nature of the service delivery;
* Efficiency options, which do not change the nature of a service but focus on efficiency and effectiveness;
* Efficiency-with-barriers options, which would change the nature of service delivery and require some change to legislation;
* Stop/Reduce options, which would cut the level of service or result in a service no longer being delivered.

The 5 Year Business Plan approach is a fundamentally new way of planning future spending and investment in the city and is based on Aberdeen City Council’s six key priorities –

* provide for the needs of the most vulnerable people;
* help to ensure that all schoolchildren reach their potential;
* manage waste better and increase recycling;
* encourage new affordable housing;
* ensure a sustainable economic future for the city;
* ensure efficient and effective delivery of services by the Council and with its partners.

The City Council is making a major effort to gather the views of as many citizens as possible before finalising the Five Year Business Plan. Around 100 Information Points have been set up across the city to allow people to have their say by filling in questionnaires on spending and services. Online comments are being collected on the City Council’s website at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk, where the questionnaires are also available. Over 1,000 have been returned so far.

More than 300 people have attended public meetings. In excess of 100 of the city’s top stakeholders have also been involved in consultations.

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