Budget for year ahead agreed

Budget for year ahead agreed
04 March 2020

Budget for year ahead agreed

Elected Members have agreed Orkney Islands Council’s budget for the next financial year.

Councillors decided that £85.8 million should be spent on running Council services in 2020 - 2021 and that savings of £755,000 should be found during the year ahead. This is in addition to a number of savings already agreed by the Council for 2020 - 2021, amounting to £267,600 in total.

Councillors also agreed:

  • A 1 per cent increase in funding for voluntary and other Third Sector organisations.
  • That Council Tax charges should rise by 4.84 per cent, which would increase the Band D annual charge from £1153 to £1208.
  • That existing fees and charges for Council services should increase by at least 3 per cent from 1 April. Exceptions would include charges that are set by legislation.

OIC’s funding allocation from the Scottish Government for the year ahead currently amounts to £77.5 million. This includes £5.5 million in funding for Orkney’s inter-island ferry service. But this is still to be finalised, with the Council seeking ferries funding of £7 million for 2020 - 2021.

Council Leader James Stockan said that once Government commitments and ring-fenced funding is taken into account, there would be a real terms reduction of 1.1 per cent in the support the Government provides towards the running costs of core council services.

A great deal of thought and effort had been devoted to finding ways to lessen the impact on the Orkney community, staff and the organisation itself. But a range of cuts had been required to set a balanced budget for the year ahead.

The measures agreed will result in a reduction of the Council’s workforce by the equivalent of 5.5 full time equivalent posts.

Of these, one FTE post is currently vacant. For the remaining posts, the intention is to avoid compulsory redundancies if possible and look instead at alternatives such as redeployment, voluntary redundancy and retirement.

The Committee also decided that a contribution of up to £6.3 million should come from the Strategic Reserve Fund to support services during the year ahead.

The decision to increase Council Tax bills in Orkney by 4.84 per cent from April 1 will result in an overall Council Tax income of £9.8 million during 2020 – 2021.

The following Council Tax charges will apply in Orkney for the year ahead:

Council Tax Band.Council Tax for 2020 - 2021.
A. £805.65.
B. £939.93.
C. £1074.20.
D. £1208.48.
E. £1587.81.
F. £1963.78.
G. £2366.61.
H. £2960.78.

Households with only one adult living in the property will continue to receive a discount of 25% on the charges detailed above.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS