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Council Administration Defeats SNP Bid To Preserve Peterhead Common Good Fund Capital

>> 9 March 2012

Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors combined to vote down an attempt by Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith to reform the way in which Peterhead Common Good Fund - and other trusts and common good funds across Aberdeenshire – are administered by the council.

Currently, due to the low base rate, the administration charge levied by Aberdeenshire Council against the Common Good Funds of burghs such as Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Rosehearty and Macduff is double that of the annual interest income.

Councillor Smith brought forward a proposal that the administration charges levied by the council on these funds should be capped so as not to exceed the income which was narrowly defeated on a vote by 33-30.

Commenting after the meeting of the Full Council, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

While it was disappointing to lose the vote so narrowly, the argument was won and this issue will be raised again in the future.

“At the moment, because the Peterhead Common Good Fund only distributes grants from its income, there is no money to do so because the administration charge levied by the council more than wipes that out.

“That cannot be right and it was clear from listening to other speakers during today’s debate that the current position is not sustainable and I expect we will see some changes brought forward after the elections.”

Cllr Stuart Pratt, who has also attempted to have the charging policy changed in the past, added:

“Common Good Funds are for the benefit of the Common Good, and shouldn’t be run for the benefit of Aberdeenshire Council. 

“Today’s vote was very close and produced near-unanimity amongst all Peterhead councillors who took the matter seriously enough to be bothered to turn up.  I’m now hopeful that we will see some changes in the near future.”

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