Council leader introduces budget

Transparency, honesty and partnership are the watchwords for Angus Council’s new long term budget according to the council’s leader.

On Monday Councillor Iain Gaul, leader of Angus Council’s SNP administration held a briefing for the press to give a general overview of the authority’s forthcoming budget for 2014 and beyond.

The new budget is to appear before councillors at a full council meeting on Thursday, February 13, and has been the subject of serious cross-party discussion and cooperation since September.

The budget presents a savings package of around £19 million which will help offset the £23 million of required efficiency savings over the next three years identified in Angus Council’s medium term financial forecast.

Councillor Gaul said: “One of the good things about this budget is that there shouldn’t be any surprises for people.

“We’ve been banging on about it since day one that hard times are coming, and they are not only coming, they are here.

“We are a business and our product is the services we deliver and constraints have been put upon us to deliver the best service we can provide.”

In the longer term this will include reviews of staffing resources and the possibility of streamlining, teaching provision, primary school provision, residential and community care and a number of other services.

Mr Gaul continued: “Some people will have huge concerns about it, others will have the apathetic reaction which is a bit disappointing, and others will understand what we’re trying to achieve and where we’re going.

“Team Angus doesn’t just talk the talk, but is walking the walk.

“We only do what’s best for Angus. I will fall out with anybody for Angus, because what’s best for Angus comes first all the time.”