Aberdeenshire communities asked for their views on charitable trust delivering Sports and Cultural Services

Communities across Aberdeenshire have been giving their views this month on the principle of a charitable trust delivering Sports and Cultural Services in the future.

The consultation on service delivery, which can be accessed on the council’s website and is open until Tuesday, January 3, is taking place alongside the council’s wider budget engagement process and so far has had over 300 responses.

An online infographic paints a picture of the services and facilities which could transfer to a trust, including sports and community centres, swimming pools, museums and libraries, as well as around 1,500 staff.

It also sets out the various pros and cons of transferring those services to a trust, which would be wholly-owned by the council and which would deliver those services on the council’s behalf.

Respondents are asked if they agree that the council should continue exploring whether a charitable trust could deliver sports and cultural services in Aberdeenshire before being given the opportunity to explain the reasons behind their decision.

The consultation responses will inform councillors when they meet on Thursday, January 26 2017 to decide whether the council should begin detailed work on a full business case for the creation of a charitable trust.

Co-Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Cllr Richard Thomson, said: “Councillors agreed in November that the concept of a charitable trust delivering sports and cultural services in the future merited further consideration.

“But before we make a decision in January as to whether work should begin on a detailed business case for such a trust, we want to hear from the people of Aberdeenshire.

“The online infographic and survey only take a few minutes to read and respond to and we are looking for as many responses as possible before it closes on Tuesday, January 3.”

Co-Leader Cllr Alison Evison said: “The infographic has been designed to give an overall view of the services under consideration for transfer to a trust and to inform the public of the pros and cons of doing so.

“The infographics are also being issued for use in community forums and discussions right across Aberdeenshire to make sure everyone gets the chance to participate.

“The public and the people who use Aberdeenshire’s sports and cultural services have a voice in the consideration of whether a charitable trust should be explored further. We will use their comments to inform us as to the council’s next steps.”

To access the online survey and wider budget engagement process please visit the council’s website: http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/budget-engagement