General support for council’s budget proposals

ANGUS Council’s recent budget consultation has shown general support for the majority of the council’s budget savings proposals.

The council has to find £6 million of savings in 2012/13 and the budget consultation set out proposals to achieve that through increased efficiencies, a reduction in staffing costs, more focused services and increased income.

The online consultation attracted 596 submissions, more than twice as many as last year, and 77 people from the Angus Citizens’ Panel and local community councils took part in three focus groups where the proposals were discussed and then voted on.

The consultation survey results are now online at where the overall results and the individual results for each survey group are available. The feedback will help to inform the council’s 2012/13 budget, which will be set in February.

Commenting on the consultation exercise Angus Council leader councillor Bob Myles said: “The level of response to this year’s consultation shows a growing interest from local people in becoming involved in discussions about how and where the council should spend its limited resources.

“Feedback about the consultation exercise has been very positive with people pleased to have the opportunity to give their views. The members of the focus groups particularly appreciated the chance to be able to have a face to face discussion about the budget challenges facing the council.”

Councillor Myles said that some difficult budget decisions would have to be made to achieve the £6 million savings needed for 2012/13.He went on: “The comprehensive feedback we’ve now got from residents, panel members, community councils and employees will help inform those decisions.”

The online survey was completed by 154 residents, 237 members of the Angus Citizens’ Panel and 205 council employees. The focus group for community councils attracted nine members and 68 people attended the two focus groups for citizens’ panel members.

There was general support for the budget proposals, other than those to slow down roads maintenance and reduce the number of visiting specialist teachers (music, art and PE) in primary schools.