NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeen City Council vows to protect services and jobs

Aberdeen City Council faces a shortfall of £2.4m in its budget for the next year but frontline services and jobs will be protected, it has vowed.

The authority has already identified £20m of efficiency savings, but the shortfall remains.

Options to be considered by councillors next Thursday include a £640,000 reduction in the city's cultural programme, and library cutbacks.

Finance convenor Willie Young said key services would be protected.

Mr Young, from the labour-led administration, told BBC Scotland: "I think we are very lucky in that unlike other local authorities we are not looking at job cuts.

"We are looking to make sure that the services that we provide to the citizens of Aberdeen will be maintained.

"We found a lot of efficiencies within our budget. We are making sure key services are not being affected."

Another proposal is Sport Aberdeen - the arms length trust which run the city's swimming pools and leisure centres - facing a budget cut of more than £400,000.

Jackie Dunbar, leader of the opposition SNP group, said an alternative plan would be put forward.

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