Councillors in Aberdeenshire have approved the local authority’s revenue budget for the coming year – pledging to minimise compulsory redundancies for north-east council staff.
The local authority had to find £24 million for the 2021/22 period, with a significant chunk of more than £12 million coming from increased business rates income.
There are also a number of one-off payments from the Scottish Government, including £4.7 million in exchange for freezing council tax.
One of the areas the council plans to make savings is through trimming its workforce – a controversial area that attracted criticism from union bosses.
However, leaders promised to keep compulsory job cuts to a minimum, instead of pursuing a policy of “natural wastage” – such as not replacing staff who retire or leave.
They also announced a pledge to “train and upskill” staff to fill the roles of those who leave.
Council leader Andy Kille said: “Every aspect of the council’s business has had to adapt to the pandemic over the last 12 months. But along with the worst, we have seen the best in the community spirit, the NHS and all of our public services and the best from our council staff.
“Every resident in Aberdeenshire will feel the benefit of this budget, the investment we’re making today will reach every corner of the wards we represent.”