Highland Council seeks public’s views on ways to save £12m in two years
HIGHLAND Council has launched a three-month public consultation in a bid to find ways to save £12million over the next two years.
The local authority has projected a budget gap of almost £30million, but have already agreed savings of £17.8million.
Councillors plan a series of ward forums and briefing events with business, voluntary and specialist groups.
They will complement views expressed by staff, trade unions and the Council’s Citizen Panel.
The public can also access the budget information and comment online via the homepage of the Council’s website - www.highland.gov.uk.
The aim is to bring a report to the full Council in December and agree the budget for 2013/14 and 2014/15 in February of next year.
The public will be asked to comment on four main areas of operation: education, ways of working, infrastructure and resources, and the environment.
Council Leader Councillor Drew Hendry said: “The assistance we received from the public two years ago was invaluable and therefore we intend to build on this success in repeating the exercise.
“The financial environment looks challenging even beyond the next two financial years so the consultation will also assist in our longer term budget planning.”
Leading the consultation is Councillor Dave Fallows, chairman of the Finance Housing and Resources Committee.
He will be attending the public consultation meetings and moderating a budget blog on the council’s website, which will be launched next Monday.
The council carried out a similar budget consultation in 2010 when the comments of the public helped the authority agree a package of savings for three years totalling £55 million.
The public had told the Council it needed to look at income generation, management costs and making the best use of its assets.
The Council had also moved to fortnightly bin collections and reduced costs on street lighting through dimming and off-peak switch off of lights.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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