Moray Council has hailed the results of a massive money-saving exercise, which has trimmed millions from its spending by cutting down on in-house expenses.
The Designing Better Services initiative was launched in 2008 in response to budgetary concerns, and over the course of the seven-year programme it has achieved savings of more than £10million, and will cut about £3million in ongoing annual expenses.
The scheme was the biggest of its type in Moray Council’s history and involved several radical cost-cutting steps.
Under the programme the council’s 16 offices were closed and their services brought under one roof at an annexe in Elgin’s High Street.
The former supermarket building was fully refurbished to the highest environmental standards, which helped make the authority more eco-friendly as well as reducing electric bills.
The council also introduced the use of pool cars among staff, and a new pattern of scheduling for repairs to its housing stock.
Programme manager, David Morris, said that although major savings were achieved, assumptions made about improving technology had turned out to be “over ambitious”.
Council leader Stewart Cree said: “The programme set ambitious targets and while it is true that not all of these have been attained, there is no doubt that the savings of £3million, which will accrue annually, more than justify the efforts that have been taken.
“I am immensely grateful to all those who took part in this project, and can only hope that the council will continue to develop a culture of continual appraisal and assessment.”