Shetland Islands Council set out its priorities for the next four years in its new corporate plan, published this week.
The corporate plan is described by the council as a “road map” which identifies the opportunities and challenges faced in the period. It shows how the council plans to deliver sustainable services for the future while getting to grips with its own budgetary pressures. This is set against a background of massive changes in national and global economies.
Following the last election, the current council’s priority from an early stage was to get to grips with local authority spending. Members moved quickly to address concerns expressed by the Accounts Commission, and set a medium-term financial plan to take the SIC through to 2017.
By that time, the aim is to have stabilised the authority’s finances, as well as developed services to make them more efficient and effective. The corporate plan sets out the council’s targets and commitments across all its services.
SIC political leader Gary Robinson said: “We’ve learned some tough lessons over the past couple of years, and are working hard at balancing the books and living within our means.
“At the same time we believe passionately in the value and importance of the services we provide to the people of Shetland, and our priority in the coming years is to continue to provide that high quality in the best and most cost-effective manner possible.”
Convener Malcolm Bell added: “The next four years will be critical for Shetland, and this plan demonstrates our commitment to work with our community in taking difficult but sensible decisions based on evidence.
“It is vital we strive to provide the very best services possible within available resources, and we will only be able to do this by working together in Shetland’s interest.”