Thursday, 3 April 2014
South Ayrshire Council pledges high quality services and balanced budget for 2014/15
The continued delivery of high-quality services while balancing the books is being promised by South Ayrshire Council as the local authority gears up to achieve efficiency savings of £4.6 million in this financial year.
The Council will spend more than £247 million of revenue funding for 2014/15, with investment focused on addressing the Council's priorities of the local economy, children and families, adults and older people, communities, and the environment.
However, it also has to deliver on the £4.6 million of efficiency savings agreed by Councillors in December last year.
The planned savings will come from a reduction in rental costs, reviews of staffing structures, changes to services to ensure they are targeted where they are most needed and a review of some charges.
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of the Council (pictured above) said: “As I’ve said before, we can’t just keep doing what we’ve always done. We have to constantly look at what we do and how we do it and make changes where we can to deliver both high-quality services for our people and communities AND a balanced budget.
“For me, that’s all about finding smarter, better and different ways of working to ensure we can meet the financial challenges we face over the next few years.
“So I was encouraged by the recently-published Accounts Commission report that says Councils needs to have an open mind about how best to deliver services and not just focus on cutting staff numbers.
“That’s very much been part of our strategy within the Council in recent years and we have been doing all we can to keep any reduction in staff numbers to an absolute minimum. We have achieved this to the best of our abilities; however, with far less money available to us, we’ve not been able to avoid this completely.”
It’s anticipated that up to 79 posts may be deleted over the course of 2014/15 as a result of the agreed efficiency measures.
Councillor McIntosh added: “It’s never an easy decision to delete any post and it’s not something we take lightly. But we have to be realistic and, with almost half of our gross revenue budget (some 43%) allocated to employee costs, I’m confident we have kept the number of potential redundancies to a minimum.
“As always, we would hope to achieve the necessary staff savings through voluntary severance, redeployment, changes to working hours/arrangements and turnover. And if there is a way to achieve the savings without losing posts, we will do what we can.
“2014/15 will be another challenging year for the Council and we will continue to make the very best of the resources available to deliver for the people and communities of South Ayrshire.”
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.