Area budget boost to support local regeneration

Aberdeenshire Council is to consider a proposal to double area committee budgets from April 2016.

The announcement was made as councillors discussed membership of the regeneration member/officer working group and the commitment by the council to continue to invest in regeneration across Aberdeenshire.

The proposal would mean that Area Committee budgets could rise from £52,500 a year to £105,000 a year from April 2016, meaning that the total budget devolved to areas would be £630,000 a year.

Co-leader Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes said: “The proposal to double the investment in area top-up budgets demonstrates that we recognise that some of the best solutions to respond to local challenges come by connecting people, communities, areas, organisations and ideas.

“Our area committees play an important role in representing Aberdeenshire Council locally, and they have a very detailed understanding of local issues.

“We are making significant investment in regeneration of our communities, particularly in the north of Aberdeenshire.

“However, we recognise that the area top-up budgets play an important role in meeting local needs and investing in initiatives that are locally very important to communities.”

Area chairs, supported by area managers, will develop proposals to refresh the criteria for how the budget will be targeted and will be reported back to full council in due course.