The results of a major public consultation on council spending that will help shape next year’s annual budget have been published.
A total of 3,192 responses were received during the first phase, which ran throughout July.
People were asked to award exactly 100 points in batches of 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 across 17 different service areas as way of indicating what mattered most to them.
Points for each service area were added up to give a percentage share of the total points awarded, shown below:
- Education – 12.7%
- Arts, Culture and Sport – 12.1%
- Roads and Public Transport – 8.9%
- Parks, Open Space and Bereavement Services – 8.1%
- Children’s Social Work – 7.7%
- Adult Social Work – 7.0%
- Libraries – 5.9%
- Waste Collection and Disposal – 5.7%
- Communities and Early Intervention – 5.2%
- Homelessness and Housing Access – 5.2%
- Economic Development – 4.5%
- Property and Building Maintenance – 4.1%
- Capital Investment and Contingency – 3.3%
- Digital and Technology – 3.0%
- Protective Services – 2.7%
- Planning – 2.1%
- Support and Corporate Services – 1.8%
Phase 2 of the consultation, to be launched in autumn, will give people the chance to explore different options for producing a balanced budget.
Councillor Alex McLellan, Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee, said: “I would like to thank citizens for taking part in the first phase of Aberdeen City Council’s budget consultation.
“It is important that citizens have an opportunity to have their say on how the council sets its budget and delivers services moving forward – particularly given the increasingly challenging environment which we are operating in.
“The second phase, which will take place later in the year, will allow for a greater level of public engagement on officers proposals for spend – and savings – as we move towards setting the council budget for 2024/25.”
The Phase 1 results will be presented to Full Council on August 23 alongside an updated Medium Term Financial Strategy, which in 2022 had predicted an estimated £134 million shortfall between income and expenditure from 2023/24 to 2027/28.
Senior council officers are drawing up options for closing the funding gap, and these will be shared with all Elected Members, who will set the annual budget in February/March.
The consultation results will help inform Elected Members’ decisions about how to allocate funds for running services in 2024/25 and beyond alongside other considerations.