£11 million underspend

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Aberdeenshire councillors were presented with a report on the authority’s unaudited statement of accounts that showed an £11million underspend by the authority in 2010/11.

Services have put in place measures such as strict financial control over vacancies, discretionary spending and reduced business mileage as staff continue to control, manage and reduce budgets.

Aberdeenshire Council’s head of finance Derek Yule said: “The underspend, represents 2% of our overall budget and is a result of one-off savings that will increase our balances and put us in a much stronger position to deal with future risks.

“Our position is comparative with other local authorities in Scotland as we all look to manage within our resources in this tough economic climate.

“Balances are important to give the council capacity to deal with unplanned expenditure such as severe weather events as well as the ability to develop invest to save schemes – all vital for long term financial control.”

The underspend was recommended to be split four ways: £5.6 million towards organisational redesign and management of financial risks; £3 million for winter maintenance and other emergencies; £1.7 million of ring-fenced funds to be carried forward; £0.7 million transferred to prevent fluctuation in the school transport budget

Chief Executive Colin Mackenzie said: “I commend the efforts made across all services to manage the budgets.”