Council seeks views on future priorities

Aberdeenshire Concil#s headquarters, Woodhill House.
Aberdeenshire Concil#s headquarters, Woodhill House.

The people of Aberdeenshire are being asked for their views on a plan which could re-map the future of the area.

Aberdeenshire Council has launched a six-week consultation exercise during which people can have their say on a range of issues, from forming successful and sustatainable communities to public service excellence.

Following the election in May, council officers created a ‘Strategic Assessment’, which identifies the issues that are affecting, or could affect, Aberdeenshire in future years.

From that the local authortity developed its draft priorities which, if approved, will form the basis of the Council Plan which will run from 2017 up to 2022 and will be used as a way of setting direction, working out what is important and to budget accordingly.

Four themes have been identified, each with different priorities attached to them: Successful and Sustainable Communities, Aspirational People, Caring for Communities and Public Service Excellence.

Council Leader Jim Gifford said: “There has been a lot of work to get to this point. The detailed data analysis means that the priorities are built on a foundation of solid research.

“We know from this research what the likely future trends will be, and as such are confident that our plans are future-proofed as much as they can be. The priorities also reflect commitments made in our Administration’s joint manifesto.

Deputy Leader Peter Argyle also encouraged people to get involved.

He said: “This draft is comprehensive, however it really comes to life with the input from people who live and work in Aberdeenshire, as well as staff and council partners. We are keen to find out how these translate locally, which aims or priorities will make he biggest difference in our towns and villages, or even in your street or your neighbourhood.”

Chief Executive Jim Savege added: “The priorities give us direction to make clear exactly what sort of council we want to be, and you need us to be.”

Details about what each of the priorities means as well as a short survey for each theme can be found at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/councilpriorities. Submissions will be taken up to September 15.