Council underspend by £5 million

Councillors are to consider the latest monitoring report on the council’s budget up to the end of January, 2013.

The report, to go before the policy and resources committee today, forecasts end of year spending to be within budget by just over £5 million, which accounts for less than 1% of the council’s £537 million budget.

The improved budget position is as a result of services identifying the need to target spending in new ways. Councillors will be asked to approve a number of budget virements at the committee meeting, which would see funds transferred into essential projects including upgrades to halls, gymnasiums, libraries and swimming pools, and ICT software.

Councillors are also being asked to approve a number of new earmarked reserves, including one for welfare reform.

The council will not receive funding through the Bellwin Scheme, a Scottish Government project offering financial assistance to local authorities affected by large-scale emergencies, including severe weather and flooding.

Though the council has had to make substantial repairs after severe flooding across Aberdeenshire in December, 2012, the costs do not meet the expenditure threshold required by the scheme.