You’ll hopefully have had the chance to read my message following on from Wednesday’s budget decision, an update for colleagues that had an emphasis on the impact on staff and the headline items.
With the dust settling after the meeting, I’m keen to put some of the other elements in context in terms of Aberdeen City Council as an organisation.
Setting the budget is not something that happens in isolation on an afternoon once a year in the Council Chamber – the process and outcome will touch every single member of staff in different ways and links directly to our Strategic Business Plan, which has been refreshed and was also approved by members at the meeting this week. I’m really keen to highlight the way in which individual approved budget options underpin our Shaping Aberdeen approach.
Examples of purpose run right through the 2017/18 budget, with our commitment to people and place. From investment in education in the revenue figures, through to capital projects such as the Berryden Corridor and City Centre Masterplan, it is set out in black and white the positive impact we can make as a local authority. We are here to serve the city.
How we do our business is a huge part of the Shaping Aberdeen programme – but what this week’s budget shows is the way it translates into numbers. For example, by transforming our procurement model we will save £3million in 2017/18 alone. By transforming and digitising the delivery of business support, a further £3m will be saved in the year ahead. Those are just two examples of the way in which changing the way we do our business is making tangible differences – that £6m sum will be used to maintain and improve vital services and there are many more examples in this year’s budget. This is Shaping Aberdeen in action.
Culture is something that is more difficult to capture in numbers, but if you look closely it is there – particularly in the form of the ongoing support for the technology which will help us become the modern council we strive to be with a progressive culture. The Employee Opinion Survey showed really positive results in terms of staff having the tools to do an effective job and that’s only possible if budget priorities support this approach.
With the budget set, I’m looking forward to another year of delivering on behalf of the people of Aberdeen. I’m really enthusiastic about what we can achieve together.