Overhaul call for council budget plan

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Councillors have called for the city council to reform its budget process.

The call for a revamp came after a meeting of the council to set the budget followed the usual pattern – with all groups supporting their own budget proposals, leading to the Liberal Democrat/SNP administrations budget being passed on the back of support from the coalition’s 29 councillors.

Many councillors have expressed concerns about the amount of time council officials take drawing up opposition proposals when they have little chance of being passed.

Green councillors claim that the budget process costs £1 million a year, and unsuccessfully attempted to delay a decision on this year’s proposals by two weeks to allow for a public consultation.

Councillor Andrew Burns, leader of the Labour group, said that the process of the administration printing its budget during the meeting is a “shambles”.

Cllr Jeremy Balfour, leader of the Conservative group, said: “This is one of the most important decisions we make and the amount of scrutiny is probably the least of any decision.”