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Council balances books again
For the second year in succession, and despite all the pressures on public finances, the City of Edinburgh Council's unaudited accounts for the year to 31 March 2011 show that all departments have come in within budget.
Until 2009/10, this had not been achieved at any time since the current Council was set up in the mid 1990s.
Finance Convener Cllr Phil Wheeler states: "This Administration's rigorous management of the Council's finances has paid off again. Not only did we rein in and eliminate past overspends during our first two years in office, but we have now proved that, despite all the pressures of the last couple of years, it is possible to deliver services within set budgets. This has been no mean achievement.
"The budget for the next three years, agreed in February, contains savings of over £70 million. However, about 75% of these savings are in the form of streamlining management and "working smarter", with only about 3% being actual withdrawal of services. We are managing the city's finances in a responsible manner, delivering good value for the public pound. It is against this background that we are having to consider opportunities for joint working with the private sector and other public bodies to achieve our aim of continuing to provide quality services for our citizens."
"The record of efficiency savings and balanced books means that we have been able to restore the Council's unallocated reserves (the City's "rainy day fund") to over £13 million - 1% of our annual revenue spending - a year ahead of schedule. This gives us confidence that we can face most emergencies that may occur."