More than £5.5million has been trimmed from Moray Council’s budget over the last year in “efficiency savings”.
However, the total still falls short of the target set by the Scottish Government.
Council staff in the region have been tasked with finding opportunities to save cash in an attempt to stave off forecasted bankruptcy in 2020.
Today, papers will be presented to councillors detailing the vast sums that have been shaved off budgets by departments.
Last night, Forres councillor George Alexander praised the work done by employees in trying to meet the target set by the Scottish Government.
He said: “A huge amount of work has been done on this. I can’t see what else we could do to get up to the target that has been set.
“Every department has to adopt the mindset to look at every penny and I believe that we are now in the right mindset.
“There are only three options – we spend less money, we bring in more money or we persuade the UK and Scottish governments to give us more money. We can’t do anything else.”
Councils across the country were told to trim 3% from their budgets by the Scottish Government.
The £5.5million saved in Moray amounts to 2.88% of the annual budget and was about £350,000 short of the national target.
The totals include £454,000 from selling off unwanted assets, £271,000 through various energy-saving initiatives and £84,000 by improving the use of pool cars.
Meanwhile, an extra £39,000 was generated through revising the charges for using photocopiers, a £47,000 increase was brought in from renting out accommodation and there was a £141,000 decrease in housing benefit overpayment.
It is estimated that Moray Council will need to save about £14million over the next two years in order to avoid bankruptcy.
In a report ahead of today’s policy and resources committee meeting, principal accountant Paul Connor described the Scottish Government target as “challenging” – but explained the total reported did not reflect all of the work done.
He added: “It is recognised that not all savings made through efficiencies will have been captured and quantified.
“In particular, savings which arise as the result of new duties being absorbed by staff have not been captured due to the inherent difficulties of measuring these.”