A concerned council worker has claimed his employers are trying to “devastate” jobs in some of Aberdeenshire’s poorest communities.
The anonymous whistleblower, whose own post is under review, said the council appeared to be “centralising jobs” away from less affluent areas.
They allege a housing repair depot based in Fraserburgh is being clandestinely closed, while a new planning unit was located in Stonehaven without the knowledge of councillors.
The allegations are being looked into by concerned elected members.
“The authority says “no decisions” have been taken as it underatkes a review of a number of its services.
But the whistleblower said: “They are wilfully undermining the poorest parts of Aberdeenshire. I know because I am under one such review of services.
“It seems the north of Aberdeenshire is always the poor relation.
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“Just a few years ago, the planning and building standards service was reviewed and a new section, e-planning, was created.
“This could have been located in the north of Aberdeenshire to bolster the economy and jobs market there. Instead, it was located in Stonehaven.
“Accommodation was clearly not the issue as the e-planning team, after nearly five years, remain in a prefab behind Viewmount.
“They could easily have been placed in the north of Aberdeenshire.”
The whistleblower added: “Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Banff are earmarked as regeneration areas – supposedly under the council’s protection and to be nurtured and rejuvenated.
“This is Aberdeenshire Council’s legal responsibility to its regeneration towns.”
Councillor Charles Buchan, who represents the Fraserburgh and District ward, has spoken with the whisteblower and has already had a meeting with Stephen Archer, the authority’s infrastructure director.
Mr Buchan said he was concerned about any potential centralisation that would take jobs away from his ward and the surrounding area.
He said: “I have not been able to get any concrete facts from the council yet but I have arranged for further meetings.
“The idea of efficiency tied in with centralisation is not good for me.
“If there’s going to be centralisation I would like to see it in Fraserburgh as opposed to somewhere where there are already a high number of jobs.
“With all the modern means of communication there’s no reason I can see why we can’t have administration centres in Fraserburgh or Banff and Buchan.”
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “We are currently conducting a review of admin support within infrastructure services with a view to creating operational hubs in the north, central and south of Aberdeenshire.
“No decisions have been taken at this stage but any relocation of employees would take a number of factors into consideration, including distance, in line with council policy.”