Shetland Amenity Trust to cut costs by tenth as paymasters put on squeeze

Shetland Amenity Trust is to cut costs in management and administration and put off planned maintenance to make savings of almost 10 per cent demanded by Shetland Charitable Trust (SCT).

The organisation has identified £23,500 out of its management and administration budget of more than £500,000 and £82,500 out of the planned maintenance budget of just under £400,000 towards a total saving of £130,000.

But the trust, which is run by general manager Jimmy Moncrieff, has warned that it has gone as far as it can and further cost-cutting would have a detrimental effect on some projects.

“The element of non-pay funding now available to some project areas is so small (the salary costs may consume 95 per cent + of the budget) that funding is close to a ‘tipping point’ where there is insufficient non-pay resource available to the project officers to deliver their objectives,” the trust says in a report to go before SCT trustees on Thursday. “Any further reductions in these areas would critically impact on service delivery and retention of valued staff.”

The report goes on: “The reduction in funding represents a cut of some 9 per cent for the trust and follows a very tough 2009/10 budget settlement. In putting forward these areas of potential saving, it needs to be noted that in realising most of them, delivery of core objectives becomes more challenging for our staff and any contingencies that may have been built in for unexpected events have been removed.

“We believe that with the savings as suggested, that in the short term, there is no significant threat to service delivery on the core funded areas. However, if further funding cuts were requested, or future pay and non-pay inflation were not funded, there would be a deleterious impact on the trust.”

The management and administration savings will come from cost reduction and additional income and a review of working arrangements while vehicle replacement programmes may be stretched from five to six years and more vehicles may be leased to help save money from planned maintenance.

The amenity trust, along with the Shetland Recreational Trust (SRT) and Shetland Arts Development Agency (SADA), had been asked to find total savings of £500,000. As well as the amenity trust’s £130,000, the SRT had been expected to save £300,000 and SADA £70,000.

As already reported, the SRT is to make its savings by closing over Christmas and New Year, renegotiating a proper rate from the SIC for school use of its premises and carrying out a review of staffing at Clickimin.

SADA is to cut spending in non-front line staff and marketing as well as attempting to increase income by introducing a management charge on work undertaken for third parties.


Add Your Comment
  • Rasmie Jamieson

    • September 15th, 2009 0:15

    They could start with cutting back on all the extraneous trips abroad by senior management for starters. In the last month alone, Mr Moncrieff has been to Iceland and Portugal (on a trip to the worthwhile Geopark conference, but does the SAT really need to be represented by FOUR people?!).

    It’s hardly very in-keeping with an organisation whose trust deed says it is supposed to be protecting the environment to be globe-trotting all the time either. From what I can gather there is a significant amount of discontent among staff members at the trust too. In these times of public sector belt-tightening, it would be nice to think Jimmy would get the message and cut his cloth accordingly.

  • Rachel

    • September 23rd, 2009 14:35

    Is this the £500,000 for the winter heating grant bonus ;p


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