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SNP Councillors Back 'Consensus Budget' in Aberdeenshire

>> Friday, 14 February 2014

SNP councillors in Aberdeenshire have backed a ‘consensus’ budget for Aberdeenshire Council.

Councillors agreed a budget of £517 million for 2014/15 to support the delivery of frontline services. In previous years the opposition SNP budget and the Administration Group budget have shared a number of objectives in the public interest.

Shadow Leader of the Council Cllr Hamish Vernal said:

“Today we are breaking from tradition and I am accepting the clear invitation from the Council Leader to join with him in finding solutions for the challenges that lie ahead for the council.

“We have outlined a number of areas – such as Town Centre Regeneration, more affordable housing stock, and transport infrastructure – where the council’s Administration shares our desire to see progress on these issues. On these areas of common ground, we can work together for the common good of Aberdeenshire.

“The SNP look forward to influencing and participating fully in the budget discussions ahead of Aberdeenshire over the coming months. We believe that we have the experience and the vision to contribute to strategic choices about the Council’s future which are best for residents.”

Commenting on the Housing Revenue Account Budget, SNP Housing spokesperson Cllr Anne Allan said:

“The Scottish Government Grant for new build housing has, for the first time in over 30 years, meant new council housing built locally. The increase in grant levels to £43k per unit means that Aberdeenshire Council can directly contribute to meeting housing needs, including making better and more effective use of developer contributions, Second Homes Council Tax and better Affordable Housing Policy output.

“Further action by the Scottish Government, through the current Housing Bill, to finally end the Right to Buy, in 2017, will stop further erosion of much needed affordable housing which is a scarce and essential resource for any balanced and healthy community.”

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