Peterhead Common Good Fund charges dropped by council

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CHARGES made on the Peterhead Common Good Fund have been scrapped in their entirety.

The major decision made at last week’s meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Policy and Resources committee – effective from April next year - heralds the way for payouts to be made to worthy community projects and deserving causes.

Grants had been held in abeyance after it emerged the charges were cancelling out the interest. Commenting, Peterhead SNP councillor Stephen Smith, who tabled a Motion back in March on the subject which was narrowly defeated by 33-30 votes said: “This is a victory for Peterhead Common Good Fund. I said back in March when the Lib-Dem/Conservative administration voted to continue with these charges that the present situation was not sustainable and I expected to see changes brought forward after the elections. It was recently revealed during a council meeting that the finance department maintains over 2000 accounts free of charge for planning gain monies. Once that fact was out in the open, there was no way the council could continue charging for administering the 17 Common Good Funds.

“Peterhead Common Good Fund now stands to save around £4000 per year as a result which can be used for good causes.”

Cllr Stuart Pratt, who has also attempted to have the charging policy changed in the past, added: “Common Good Funds are for the benefit of the Common Good, and shouldn’t be run for the benefit of Aberdeenshire Council.

“I now look forward to the opening up once again of the fund to support worthy causes in Peterhead.”

Commenting on the decision to completely scrap the charges, Central Buchan councillor Norman Smith said: “The Alliance Administration felt it was completely appropriate that charges on Common Good Funds were dropped in their entirety – this is, after all, money for the benefit of our communities.”