Aberdeen council chiefs have not set aside any money for city centre regeneration after next year, a new report has revealed.
The authority’s quarterly financial performance, including a predicted end of year spend, was reviewed by the city growth committee yesterday.
The figures also show cash which has been allocated for future years – with a planned £1million set to be spent on street lighting each year until 2022/23, for example.
But the amount planned for regenerating the city centre in the capital budget will drop from £19.6million this year to £7.8million next year – with nothing then set aside for the years after that.
At the meeting, administration councllors stressed this was simply due to forthcoming projects not yet being approved by the council and that the private sector were also expected to contribute.
A total of £269million this year was committed to capital projects in this year’s budget, which is expected to significantly diminish in coming years.
However, the council has since 2012 been committed to its major £1billion, 25-year city centre masterplan with major projects like the Union Terrace Gardens revamp due to get under way.
Senior administration councillors have long blamed the Scottish Government for decreasing block grants to local government and called for more financial powers to be devolved to the local authority.
Opposition councillors and some union figures have questioned the spending priorities of the ruling Conservative, Aberdeen Labour and independent alliance.
A major restructuring of the authority is underway to cut around £125million over five years.
Last week prominent business figures and former council chiefs voiced fears that Union Street could become a “wasteland” in the near future due to a potential planned expanision of the Union Square shopping centre.
Liberal Democrat Martin Greig said the ruling alliance must “make its priorities clear”.
He added:“Making the city centre more attractive is something I think everyone can get behind, in these tough financial times the council must ensure there are plans in place.”
However council co-leader Jenny Laing said: “When projects are approved they will be added… the masterplan was one of the few things that was agreed unanimously.”
Masterplan spokeswoman Marie Boulton added that the 25-year scheme would also heavily feature private sector investment.