‘Preserve and prepare’ says Argyll and Bute Council on budget proposals

Argyll and Bute Council will set a 'preserve and prepare' budget for 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Argyll and Bute Council will set a 'preserve and prepare' budget for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Argyll and Bute Council has announced it will set a ‘preserve and prepare’ budget for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Over the next two years, the council has stated it will use ‘relative financial stability to preserve jobs and services, to continue modernising ways of working in order to achieve efficiencies and prepare for delivering services with the reduced funding expected from 2016 onwards’.

The council agreed the strategy at its meeting of November 28, and also agreed efficiency savings targets of one percent for the two years, 2014-2016, which will be applied evenly across all areas of the council’s work, expected to be achieved without impact on service priorities.

Councillor Dick Walsh, Leader of the Council said: “This strategy gives us time and opportunity to plan responsibly for delivering services that meet the needs of our people and communities in the longer term.

“We are working, with our community planning partners, to achieve clear, ambitious priorities for Argyll and Bute. These priorities are designed to create a positive, prosperous future for Argyll and Bute so will shape our future financial planning.

“The council has a duty to deliver effective local government services, as well as a contribution to make in supporting the local economy as a major employer. As well as planning ahead therefore, our focus over the next two years will be on preserving services and jobs.

“Modernising the ways in which we work in order to achieve savings is an on-going process.”

Council leader Walsh added: “It’s a way of life now for this council like all public sector organisations. I am proud of the expertise, commitment and success of our employees in achieving savings where we need to and know that they can be relied upon to meet the low target of one percent savings across the council.

“Over the next two years we must take action to ensure that, whatever our future financial challenges, we use our resources to deliver maximum benefit to our people, communities and area.”

The council’s budget is to be set in February 2014.