Aberdeenshire Council has set its budget for 2012/13 and agreed revenue budgets through to 2016/17 on a provisional basis.
In agreeing the £548 million budget, councillors agreed a series of Scottish Government policy initiatives including a council tax freeze for 2012/13, maintaining police and teacher numbers, a contribution to Change Funds and a re-profiling of capital funding.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Anne Robertson announced proposals for improvements to services to support the challenges of early intervention and demography. £300,000 will be invested to establish a homelessness prevention team to focus specifically on reducing homeless presentations and the council’s use of bed and breakfast.
The council will also invest £900,000 to support a joint project between Education and Social Work to increase the council’s capacity to support children with complex needs to stay in Aberdeenshire, rather than move out of authority to less appropriate, or often more expensive arrangements.
In addition, £1million will be invested in road maintenance and a further £1million into the council’s repairs and maintenance programme, to focus on a smaller number of buildings and enhanced customer service by the provision of modern, flexible working environments.
The Leader also advised that future budgets would deliver investment in priority projects, whilst any budget pressures would be met through efficiencies.
The administration budget was supported 36 votes for the motion, 25 for the SNP’s amendment and 3 no votes.