The annual consultation on the next Aberdeenshire Council budget proposals is open for the public to give their views.
Ensuring that the voice of communities across Aberdeenshire is essential for local democracy. Local communities can now have their say on the budget setting decisions for the 2017/18 council budget.
Aberdeenshire Council a trying a new approach, in order to try to simplify and illustrate the challenges faced.
In place of traditional surveys and written text, they have developed a suite of infographics, each of which paints a different picture of a different part of council budget setting. For example, there is a section on the pressures that councils are under, one which focuses on council tax, and one which lays out some of the future opportunities.
The consultation process is open to the public until January 3 2017. Information gathered during the consultation will be passed to our local councillors who, in turn, will use them to inform their decision making for the coming financial year.
There are seven areas covered by the new infographics
- Pressures on services
- Investing in communities
- Increasing efficiency
- Identifying savings
- Council Tax
- Income generation
- The future of sports and cultural services in Aberdeenshire
The new approach has been taken by Aberdeenshire Council to allow people have their views on as many topics as they feel passionate about. So views on all seven areas are being sought, however those with a particularly strong opinion on a particular subject can ensure that they get that message across loud and clear.
The infographics themselves are also being issued for use in community forums and discussions right across Aberdeenshire, to make sure everyone gets the chance to participate.
Council Co-leader Cllr Richard Thomson said
It is important for us to embark upon our budget setting discussions with our eyes open. To get a feel for what people in our communities want and need from us, and to make sure they feel empowered to know what they can do for themselves. We want to maintain high quality public services while at the same time making sure we are as efficient as possible. We also want to minimise the impact any reductions have on residents and service-users.
The views you share will help us as we come together as a council to debate how to make the best use of the funding available to us, and we value the feedback.
Co-leader Cllr Alison Evison said
Aberdeenshire Council is embarking upon a year of change and challenge. Local elections coming up will change not only priorities but faces around the chamber. Some significant projects will be delivered this year and others will be progressed. Ensuring we have had robust and extensive consultation will play a part in everything that we do.
I encourage people across Aberdeenshire to let us know what their views are and look forward to getting the results.
To view the infographics and have your say on the next Aberdeenshire Council budget visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/budgetengagement