Aberdeenshire Council leader calls for more cash

Councillor Jim Gifford claims Aberdeenshire is the third worst funding council in Scotland
Councillor Jim Gifford claims Aberdeenshire is the third worst funding council in Scotland

The leaders of Aberdeenshire Council have written to Finance Minister Derek MacKay asking that he prioritises funding for local councils in his budget next year.

The Scottish Government will set out its budget for 2019/20 next month, and the council administration has made two requests of Mr MacKay - for councils across Scotland to be made a priority in the coming budget and for a fair share of funding to be allocated to Aberdeenshire.
Councillor Jim Gifford, council leader and leader of the Conservative group on Aberdeenshire Council, said: “We are the third worst funding council in Scotland and getting our fair share of the budget would put us in a position of being able to invest in our council facilities and services rrather than looking at cutting our budget yet again.
“We know this is a challenge for the Minister, but we think he should do everything that he can to re-balance the inequality in funding that has existed across Scotland since the councils were formed more than 20 years ago.
Cllr Norman Smith, co-ordinator of the Aligned Independents, added: “We need additional funding to support and improve the day-to-day services that everyone needs and expects. We also need additional capital allocations so we can invest in our buildings and facilities.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Despite continued UK Government real terms cuts to Scotland’s resource budget, we have treated local government very fairly.
“Aberdeenshire Council will receive £454.7 million in local government funding in 2018-19. Taken together with the council’s decision to increase council tax by three per cent, Aberdeenshire Council will have an additional £19.2 million to support services compared to 2017-18.
“We are also investing £125 million as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal, supported by a further £254 million for key infrastructure in the North East.”