‘No cuts’ budget is a Smart move by city council

ABERDEEN City Council has approved its revenue budget for 2013/4 and a £300m five-year capital investment programme.
The budget includes no new cuts in services for the first time in the city council’s history, a freeze on council tax levels in the coming financial year, and no further reductions in the workforce.
The revenue budget for 2013/14 will see £433m spent on key services over the coming financial year including £50m on enterprise, planning and infrastructure and nearly £40m on housing and the environment.
Councillors also approved the latest updated version of the rolling five-year business plan which focuses on six ‘Smarter City’ priorities and agreed the first corporate workforce plan covering the period to 2017/18. That plan is aligned with the business plan and the budget process to ensure the council has a workforce to meet business objectives and citizens’ expectations.
A spokesman commented: “The city council is believed to be the only local authority in Scotland to have planned for the future so comprehensively.”
Council leader Barney Crockett said: “This is a new chapter in the history of Aberdeen, marked by a budget which contains no further budget cuts. This is the first time in the history of Aberdeen City Council that this has been achieved. Across Scotland people will sit up and take notice of this achievement.”
Spending approved for the next five years are £32m for art gallery refurbishment extension and a new museums collection, £13m to create a care village, £32m for a new academy for the south of the city and an additional £40m for school building.
Millions of pounds have also been earmarked for environment schemes such as a £6m materials recovery facility, a £5m energy-from-waste plant and a £3m facility to make fuel from refuse.
Civil engineering companies will benefit from an infrastructure budget that covers £20m for central Aberdeen infrastructure, £10m for an A96 ‘park-and-choose’ facility to boost public transport and £5.2m for an airport link road and £20m to improve other roads.
Councillor Crockett added: “This is a significant and inspiring investment programme which will transform our great city over the next five years. We are already one of the UK’s leading cities, with investment flowing in from across the globe. Our promise to make our own £300m capital investment in the city’s future will cement our position as a smart, achieving place for our citizens and our business, and ensure we continue to play a major role on the UK and European economic stage.”