Mark Whitehead 04 October 2016

Council told to be 'more ambitious' to achieve savings target

Council told to be more ambitious to achieve savings target image

Spending watchdogs have told a Scottish council it must ‘up the pace of change’ if it is to achieve big spending cuts.

The Accounts Commission says Angus Council has made progress since 2010, setting out a clear vision, modernising its business processes and improving the leadership provided by senior managers.

But it was facing ‘significant financial pressures’ and must find savings of £26.5m over the next three years.

The commission’s report says the council’s ability to meet the target largely depends on the success of its change programme, Transforming Angus, launched three years ago.

It welcomed an improvement in the relationships between elected members and officers at the council, but raised concern that cross-party relations have become increasingly fragile.

While improvements have been made in arrangements for elected members to scrutinise decision-making, the commission says these should be more open and transparent.

Douglas Sinclair, chair of the Accounts Commission, said: ‘Angus Council is heading in the right direction as an organisation but it is only now implementing initiatives which many other councils have already done.

‘If the council is going to confront increasingly tough financial challenges, it needs to get more ambitious and speed up the pace of change.’

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