Shire council want to know resident’s take on budget

Aberdeenshire residents are being given the chance to take a hands-on approach in outlining what their priorities would be for council budgets.

An online budget simulator has been developed to allow users to virtually raise or lower budgets across a range of council services and to see what impacts their decisions could have elsewhere in the authority.

The tool has been created as part of the council’s engagement on the upcoming 2014 budget process, and will be accompanied by a series of face-to-face community events across the area.

The simulator covers day-to-day running costs on such matters as staffing, leisure and libraries, social care, roads and winter gritting and waste.

However it does not cover capital budgets such as new buildings or transport infrastructure, or council tax, as this has been frozen in Scotland over recent years.

Council Leader, Cllr Jim Gifford said: “The simulator will allow users to focus spending on areas they feel strongly about, while instantly updating any overspend or underspend.

Community engagement events are also to take place across Aberdeenshire during October and November.

The Marr area’s session will be in Banchory Academy at 7pm on October 28.

The simulator can be found at www.budgetsimulator.com/aberdeenshire: available until Thursday, November 21.