Budget focuses on future

ANGUS Council’s finance spokesman Councillor Mark Salmond has said the budget proposals going before councillors on Thursday is firmly focused on the county’s long term future.

Mr Salmond said that savings in education and roads will be achieved through increased efficiencies wherever possible but added that the protection of frontline services was central to the administration’s proposals.

He said: “Almost 700 people took part in our detailed budget consultation this year and gave their overall support to our approach and our specific savings proposals, but we got the message that people do not want us to slow down road maintenance or reduce the number of visiting specialist teachers in primaries, so those proposals do not feature in this year’s budget.

“The £6million plus savings package I will be proposing for 2012/13 is still based on improving our efficiency, reducing our staff costs, increasing our income and being more focused about the services we deliver. In this budget 40 per cent of savings identified by departments for 2012/13 are from cashable efficiencies.

“This brings our total savings over the five years of this administration to £24 million – half of which is cashable efficiencies. These are savings that allow us to invest in Angus’ long term future.”

Mr Salmond also said that developments including new schools in Monifieth, Forfar, Carnoustie and Lintrathen, the supported housing for older residents due to open later this year in Carnoustie and Montrose’s new sports and swimming pool complex are “vital investments in the county’s future”.

He added: “The budget I will be proposing on Thursday aims to build on these successes to guarantee Angus’ future.”