Residents across the city will see their council tax increase by 4.5% in a budget described as the “worst this city has ever seen”.
In setting the budget for 2019-20, the ruling Labour, Conservative and Independent administration said it had been left with a financial challenge of “momentous proportions”.
Douglas Lumsden, co-leader of the council, laid the blame at the door of Scottish Government, arguing this year’s settlement “bites the hand that feeds”.
He said it was with regret the administration took the decision to up council tax for residents across the city, with SNP colleagues branding the Conservatives the “party of taxation”.
The Scottish Government has previously said the council would receive £375.7 million to fund local services in 2019-20, and by using its Council Tax powers it could generate an extra £5.8m.
Speaking to the Evening Express, Mr Lumsden said: “The reality is we have to back the budget and if it’s not increasing council tax then it’s looking for additional savings elsewhere.
“We took regrettably the 4.5% to protect some of the frontline services. Every 1% increase brings in over £1m of revenue and without the rise in council tax we would be facing an additional funding gap in the region of £5m.”
He said although the local authority has been able to freeze fees and charges for many years, it has “reluctantly” had to move on that position.
On-street parking charges will also rise by 10% in the inner city centre and by up to 43% in off-street car parks and an annual fee of £30 will be introduced in June for garden waste.
Meanwhile, fellow co-leader Jenny Laing said the council’s budget settlement was the “worst budget settlement this city has ever seen”.
She added: “Our revenue grant has gone from £93m last year to £62m this year. We’re on a par with grants received by Orkney and Shetland.”
The budget approved yesterday also agreed cuts to the roads, with £153,000 cut to winter maintenance, £150,000 from the pothole fund and £80,000 from street lighting repairs. SNP group leader Stephen Flynn slammed administration proposals to franchise the Beach Ballroom – to make savings of £146,000.
He said: “The jewel in the crown of Aberdeen City Council is the Beach Ballroom and they (the administration) are giving away the keys. They’re raiding the bank of the council to cover for their mistakes.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Mr Flynn added the council was facing debt repayments of £9.3m this year alone, pointing to projects including Lochside Academy, the Art Gallery and Union Terrace Gardens as some of those over budget.
He added: “That takes the total amount of debt to £42m, more than the entire savings we have to make.”
His sentiments were echoed by SNP councillor Alexander McLellan who said the administration was “inflicting their failings on the people of Aberdeen”. He added: “They’re having to suffer for this administration’s vanity projects.”
Other services being hit include a massive £653,000 from reducing the maintenance of school grounds, road vegetation, cemeteries/crematorium, parks and greenspaces, street sweeping and community centres.
Parking permits will go up by 20% with a one-year first permit rising from £50 to £60 and a one-year second permit from £120 to £140.
Meanwhile, memorial benches will go up by 100% from £750 to £1,500 per bench, cremations by 2% from £693 to £704 and the cost of burials will increase by 18% per person from £577 to £680.
Music lessons will also be hit with costs for individual lessons soaring 18% from £340 to £400 a year, however, group lessons will go down from £272 to £242.