Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Moray’s SNP Opposition Council Group has published its full alternative budget ahead of tomorrow’s Moray Council budget setting meeting.

In their budget proposals SNP Councillors have identified savings through management restructuring, backroom efficiencies, increased income and ending the controversial Western Link Road project.

In total SNP Councillors have identified more than £3 million of additional savings over 2 years compared to the Independent/Tory Administration budget, which has enabled the group to propose the reinstatement of several key budget lines.

SNP Group Leader Gary Coull said:

“We have worked hard as a group, gathering information and sharing ideas. By doing that we believe that an additional £3 million of savings are achievable. This allows us to put quarter of a million pounds back into key economic development budgets, properly supporting the Citizens Advice Bureau and reducing the impact of school meals and music tuition increases.

“This can be achieved by making serious efforts to restructure the Council’s management, significantly increasing efforts to gain energy efficiency savings, increasing income by selling advertising opportunities on the Council’s bus fleet and in our leisure facilities and ending the controversial Western Link Road project. All areas that the public have been calling for us to look at.

“By taking a different, more responsible approach to the budget we have identified greater savings while still maintaining critical services and, crucially, keeping in place the SNP’s promise of a Council Tax freeze.

“The Council’s Administration have questions to answer over how they took the lazy option of an 18% Council Tax rise causing undue worry and concern to many people, but have since then found a significant underspend, as well as more savings. How hard did they really try to find savings in the first place? This shows just how much of a knee jerk reaction their plan for a Council Tax hike was. Our plan means a smaller budget deficit next year rather than a ticking financial time bomb.

“Independent and Tory Councillors in Moray would see us sleepwalking towards bankruptcy next year, which is completely irresponsible.”

Total identified savings by the SNP Group are:

2016/17 £4,930,000
2017/18 £2,148,000

TOTAL £7,078,000

This compares with total identified savings by the Council’s Independent/Tory Administration:

2016/17 £3,478,000
2017/18 £789,000

TOTAL £4,267,000

Having identified over £3 million additional savings, the SNP Group is proposing using £257,000 to reinstate items in the Council’s Administration budget that they consider to be unacceptable cuts.


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