The latest meeting of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle was hosted by leading training provider JB Management Ltd at the company’s offices at 12 Wellington Square in Ayr.
Among the members and guests attending were several representatives from Elite Ayrshire Business Circle founder members South Ayrshire Council, including Councillor Bill McIntosh – Leader of the Council, Councillors Brian Connolly and Bill Grant, David Anderson – Chief Executive and Eileen Howat – Executive Director for Corporate Services.
David Anderson delivered a presentation about the impact of the recent Government Comprehensive Spending Review on the Council and its services.
He pointed out that the full effects of the expenditure reductions in South Ayrshire are not yet known, as the Scottish Budget will not be announced until November. Allocations to individual local authority figures are expected early-mid December, with the Council considering its budget in February.
Mr Anderson also explained the Spending Review confirmed an expected real terms cut for Scotland of 11.3% over four years, a revenue cut of 8.1%, and a capital reduction of 36.4%.
The largest share of these cuts (6.4%) will come in 2011/12 although they will be mitigated somewhat by a year-end flexibility and a deferral of cuts in 2010/11.
Mr Anderson went on to explain the assumed reductions within South Ayrshire are £35 million in revenue and £22 million in capital over three years. He added that a lot of work is already underway on reducing both property and employee costs, which would mean a continued drop in employee numbers.
He concluded his presentation by highlighting South Ayrshire Council’s Big Budget Challenge – a major consultation exercise to find out where residents and businesses believe the Council should save money and where it should focus its spending.
The Big Budget Challenge provides a variety of ways for people to get involved – taking part using leaflets and questionnaires distributed across South Ayrshire, completing the online survey, or participating in Big Budget Challenge Discussions, which are running during November and December.
Further information is available at www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/budget
Norman Geddes is senior partner at Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors and executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle. He said: “Our members are all grateful to David Anderson, assisted by Eileen Howat, for taking the time out of their schedules at what must be an exceptionally busy and stressful time to come to our latest Circle meeting and talk to us about the Government Spending Review and its likely effects upon Council services.
“In a wider context, we also appreciate the progress that the Council has made towards more open local government, as evidenced by the Business Conversations and Public Consultations that they are holding.
“Finally may I say how much we value South Ayrshire Council’s membership of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and the active part in our activities played by both councillors and officials. The Circle for its part will continue to do everything that we can to further publicise and promote the Council’s achievements and successes in all that it does for the people and businesses here in South Ayrshire.”
David Anderson added: “It’s vital the Council maintains strong and positive links with the business community across South Ayrshire and I was very pleased to attend the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle meeting to discuss the Spending Review and the Council’s budget.
“We’re facing a major financial challenge with an anticipated reduction in our revenue budget of some £30 million over the next two years as well as reductions in our capital monies. That will have a huge impact. To put it into perspective, our entire spend on waste management, libraries and early years comes to £20 million, so it’s easy to see the scale of the task at hand.
“I very much welcomed the opportunity to meet with the members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle to discuss these issues, and I hope they all take the opportunity to take part in our Big Budget Challenge.”
THE ELITE AYRSHIRE BUSINESS CIRCLE
The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is an association founded in 2007 by some of the top companies in Ayrshire.
Its purpose is to publicise its members, and to celebrate and promote the wealth and rich diversity of entrepreneurial talent and business excellence that abounds here within the county boundaries of Ayrshire.
Members include the Clydesdale Bank, Ayr Racecourse, Western House Hotel and South Ayrshire Council, and member company activities include broadcasting, building and construction, architectural practice, estate agency and land management, chartered accountancy, insurance broking, legal services, golf club management, marketing services and brand creation, web design and public relations consultancy.
Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors senior partner Norman Geddes is executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, and managing director is public relations consultancy Fame Publicity Services proprietor Murdoch MacDonald.
Founder members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle:
South Ayrshire Council http://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk
Clydesdale Bank http://www.cbonline.co.uk
Turnberry Hotel and Golf Resort http://www.turnberry.co.uk
Ayr Racecourse http://www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk
Western House Hotel http://www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk/hotel.html
CKD Galbraith Property Consultants http://www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk
Frazer Coogans Solicitors http://www.frazercoogans.co.uk
Accident & Injury Claims Centre http://www.accidentclaims.com
MacKay Corporate Insurance Brokers http://www.mackaycorporate-brokers.com
Donald Ross Estate Agents: http://www.donaldross.co.uk
Westgale Ltd Building Contractors http://www.westgale.co.uk
Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants http://www.sinclairscott.com
Paligap Creative Agency http://www.paligap.com
ARP Lorimer & Associates Architects http://www.arpl.co.uk
JB Management – Training Providers http://www.jb-management.com
Brunston Castle Golf Club http://www.brunstoncastle.co.uk
Fouters Restaurant http://www.fouters.co.uk
Christie Financial Planning Ltd http://www.christiefp.com
Allison Lightbody Waddell Chartered Surveyors http://www.alwsurveyors.com
Kestrel Press http://www.kestrelpress.com
Fame Publicity Services Public Relations Consultancy http://www.famepublicity.co.uk
West Sound Radio http://www.westsound.co.uk
Easton Kitchens & Bathrooms
For further information about The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and to apply for membership, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org