24 November 2022

Widespread support for new Council Plan

Councillors today agreed a new Council Plan for Aberdeenshire, running from now until 2027.

The set of strategic priorities gives direction that all services can work towards. It sets out the strategic approach to supporting Aberdeenshire communities and businesses to thrive, working with our partners to face the challenges of cost of living, continue the recovery from the pandemic and respond positively to climate change.

The strategic priorities reflect the challenges being faced by the Council and inform the wider Medium-Term Financial Strategy in order to address what will be a significant financial shortfall.

It makes clear that working with partners helps to drive efficiencies through all areas of the Council and ensure the organisation is agile and responsive to the needs of communities. It also spotlights the need to continue to invest in our workforce, so they are capable, skilled and adaptable.

Strategic priorities

• Learning for life
• Resilient communities
• Economic growth
• Health & wellbeing
• Climate change
• Infrastructure and public assets

The plan details what each of those strategic priorities means, and the detail of what we will be doing under each of them.

The next stage would be to looking at how work underway across the council links in with the new plan, carries on, or even stops if it doesn’t support these important aims. There are a range of performance measures will be reported back to committee regularly over the duration of the plan.

Cllr Judy Whyte, chair of the meeting, said: “The meeting today was a real sign of unified chamber working towards agreed aims.

"We had a useful debate, some agreed changes, and support from across the chamber for the strategic priorities. The repeated focus on community is incredibly important and shows how important this is to every one of us in the chamber and across the council.”

Cllr Mark Findlater, Council Leader, said: “I welcome the simplicity and clarity of the Plan which will help us as councillors to focus on those things which are most important to our communities and to receive assurance through regular reporting on progress to committee.

"We have strong foundations to build on, we enjoy positive and supportive relationships with our communities who understand and appreciate the challenges we face as a local authority and recognise the need to contribute to becoming more resilient. I acknowledge this support and am hugely appreciative of this combined effort”.

Cllr Anne Stirling, Deputy Leader, said: “I was pleased to see a focus on ‘place’ coming through in this plan, everything we do is about our communities. And now, more than ever, we need to focus on things our communities need from us, and local decision making is critical.

"We will continue to give communities the opportunities to shape local services. I support this plan and look forward to working on the outcomes it sets out”.

The introduction of the new plan is the start of something, rather than the end.

From now work gets underway to agree the practical actions that officers will be carrying out to make these priorities a reality, reported back regularly to councillors.