Burgh spending figures shock

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FIGURES revealing the amount of Angus Council money spent per head in the seven Angus burghs have come as a shock to council by-election independent candidate Brian Boyd.

Mr Boyd was aware that on a seven-year count-up from 1996/7 to 2002/3, Carnoustie came a poor last in the per capita spend, at £39.59 compared with top-scoring Montrose, whose citizens each received £244.75 in terms of council spending.

He was determined to find the up-to-date position so asked Angus Council for the figures for the seven-year period after that, 2003/4 to 2009/10.

Carnoustie had risen to second-bottom place, beating only Brechin - with £93.37 per head to Brechin’s £78.38. This time Forfar was top of the spending tree, with £206.54 of council money per head.

Averaging out the two sets of figures, the spend per head over the past 14 years is as follows:

Montrose £207.15

Forfar £154.44

Brechin £137.54

Kirriemuir £114.00

Monifieth £90.89

Arbroath £83.25

Carnoustie £66.48

Mr Boyd told us that he had kept the old figures while he was running the town’s youth drop-in centre which was short of funds, and asked for the latest information: “to see if Carnoustie was by now being treated fairly”.

He said: “Clearly, this is not the case.”

Mr Boyd continued: “Angus Council promotes Angus as ‘Carnoustie Country’. It seems the town gets a clean-up every few years before a major golfing event like The Open but little more, as the figures demonstrate.”

He was also concerned that the letter from Angus Council containing the figures included the statement: “The expenditure figures are detailed on a gross basis (i.e. including contributions from departmental revenue budgets, ring-fenced capital receipts, external grants, etc.) to reflect the total capital expenditure incurred in each financial year.”

This has deepened Mr Boyd’s frown, because as he told us: “Carnoustie was forced to sell some of the family silver, the Dalhousie Golf Club site, and the money was ring-fenced and used for projects such as the play-park at the seafront.

“That money appears to be included in the council’s ‘spend’ on Carnoustie.”

Mr Boyd concluded: “I hope that by highlighting these figures the public will understand more thoroughly where some of their money is spent - and where it is not spent.”