Budget decisions - the very bad news

Today the LibDem/Tory administration of Aberdeenshire Council, with the support of the SNP supposed opposition decided to go ahead with some £27m of cuts.

Now we know that we shall have to make cuts that are of that extent. But looking at the proposed package of cuts the Democratic Independent Group had some serious reservations. While recognising the necessity of officers continuing to work on cuts (you can't make large scale redundancies in a matter of weeks - the council needs to start seeking volunteers and identifying and notifying "at risk posts"), we did not want to make some of the cuts at this stage.

For a sample of cuts agreed to today see the P&J

One oddity was that many councillors went into the Council Chamber believing that we were being asked to let the process start rather than finally decide. The DIGs have checked and we were careful to say that we only agreed to the process starting. The SNP had some detailed comments but clearly were not expecting final decisions to be made today. However, most of them voted with the LibDem/Tory administration (a few abstained) - so in my book they bear equal responsibility for the cuts.

To be fair the LibDem/Tory administration said they took on board some of the SNP comments. But as there was no formal amendment from the SNP, and no formal amendment of the administration motion, it is a mystery to me what has been agreed. I am pretty certain however that the DIGs comments will not be "taken on board".

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