Aberdeen City Council announces council tax increase as part of budget
Council tax will increase by 3% across Aberdeen, as part of Aberdeen City Council’s 2018/19 budget.
The balanced budget was agreed at a meeting of the council on 6th March, with council co-leader Douglas Lumsden, stating the plans were framed around “commitments to the people, place and economy of the city”.
The budget takes a step forward on a range of infrastructure projects, including improvement on the long-awaited Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route - £5m has been earmarked for investment and renewal in roads infrastructure and over £2m for street lighting enhancements, with an additional capital investment of £10m on road maintenance over the next five years.
Under Aberdeen’s city centre masterplan, funding will also be allocated to the redevelopment of Union Terrace Gardens, completing works at Broad Street, and beginning restoration of Provost Skene’s House.
A commitment in the budget is the introduction of a new enterprise dedicated to identifying vacant private properties and working with Scottish Empty Homes Partnership to bring these back into use.
Douglas Lumsden said that the initiative will help to support efforts to address housing challenges in the area.
Other parts of the budget, include the provision of free meals and activities to children in school holidays in key communities, and the creation of an ‘Alive After Five’ parking scheme, which will see people able to park for just £1 in certain car parks.
Douglas Lumsden said: “These positive commitments are set against the challenges we face. In order to counter the reduction in funding, a 3% increase in council tax has been agreed. It was a difficult choice, one of many which had to be made in setting a balanced budget and protecting frontline services.”
“The largest contribution to easing budget pressures will come from within the Council as we fundamentally change the way in which we operate.”
It is believed that £500,000 will be saved through the scrapping of the City of Culture bid.