SNP Pressure Sees Common Good Funds Freed from Excessive Admin Charges

>> 25 September 2012

SNP councillors have welcomed the decision by Aberdeenshire Council to remove charges from the area’s Common Good Funds in the wake of opposition to the fees.

Currently, Peterhead Common Good Fund is closed because the income generated is wiped out by Aberdeenshire Council’s 1% administration charge, meaning the fund loses over £4000 a year. Repeated moves by SNP councillors to remove or cap the fees have been rebuffed by the previous Liberal Democrat-Conservative administration, most recently in March when Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stephen Smith tabled a Motion on the subject which was narrowly defeated by 33-30 votes.
Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith, said:

“This is a victory for Peterhead Common Good Fund. I said back in March when the Lib-Dem/Conservative administration voted to continue with these charges that the present situation was not sustainable and I expected to see changes brought forward after the elections.

“It was recently revealed during a council meeting that the finance department maintains over 2000 accounts free of charge for planning gain monies. Once that fact was out in the open, there was no way the council could continue charging for administering the 17 Common Good Funds.

“Peterhead Common Good Fund now stands to save around £4000 per year as a result which can be used for good causes.”

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.

“I now look forward to the opening up once again of the fund to support worthy causes in Peterhead.”

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