A new way of delivering Sport and Culture services?

At the meeting of the full Aberdeenshire Council yesterday councillors agreed hold a public consultation in to the concept of a charitable trust delivering sport and cultural services.

At the meeting councillors were asked to consider a series of options for the future delivery of those services, including

  • Outsourcing the delivery of the services to a private company
  • The creation of a public-private partnership
  • Continuation of the status quo
  • An enhanced version of the status quo, through which the services would continue to be directly delivered by the council
  • The creation of a charitable trust, wholly owned by the council

Councillors agreed that the creation of a trust is their preferred option for further consideration and that public consultation on the principle of a trust delivering the services should take place next month as part of the council’s budget engagement process.

The results of the consultation will inform a further decision by councillors in January as to whether a detailed business case for a charitable trust should be developed.

Co-Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Cllr Alison Evison, said

Today we have agreed that officers should continue to explore the idea of a charitable trust to deliver sports and cultural services in Aberdeenshire and come back to us with more information on how it might operate.

The quality of the debate we have had so far gives me confidence that we are now on the right path, a path which could open up huge opportunities to sustain jobs and services.

This path must include discussions with staff as well as public consultation and I’m pleased to see both happening.

Co-Leader, Cllr Richard Thomson, said

We know that alternative ways of delivering services have worked successfully elsewhere and it is time for us to consider why we aren’t doing it as well.

The public consultation will help inform us when we meet again in January to decide whether to proceed to a more detailed, full business case for the creation of a charitable trust.

We’ll be looking for views from sports and community groups, as well as individual residents who have both used and have never used our sports and cultural services.

Our budget engagement will begin next month and will be promoted across Aberdeenshire so that is your chance to have your say.

Details of the public consultation will become available shortly.

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