Edinburgh Council to consider 2,000 job cuts amid budget shortfall
As many as 2,000 jobs could be lost at the City of Edinburgh Council as the authority considers a number of proposals to address a £126 million budget shortfall over the next four years.
A report to the council’s finance and resources committee on Thursday will propose cost-saving actions such as encouraging voluntary redundancy as far as possible with compulsory redundancy to be considered as a further option in the future.
The number of job losses is 1,000 more than the council had previously warned of in June but is less than the UNISON union’s prediction of 3,000.
Additional savings may also be made as a result of overspends in Health and Social Care (£10m) and in Property (£9.5m) while a new Property and Asset Management Strategy could maximise the value of the council’s extensive property estate, potentially saving £80m over 10 years.
Councillors will also hear an update on the success of the council’s Commercial and Procurement Strategy, which has saved £39m over two years.
Councillor Alasdair Rankin, finance convener, said: “We are very clear about the scale of the financial challenge that the council is facing. The council is experiencing greater demand for services than ever before, with a growing population in Edinburgh and increasing numbers of older people and younger people, while our overall budget remains the same. We need to take action in order to achieve the necessary savings to meet this demand, and we are making every effort to do this in a way that will safeguard frontline services for the people of Edinburgh.
“We want to invest in the services that are important to the public but must also look to rationalise our spending where appropriate. We recognise that some of these proposals may involve tough decisions, including a reduction in council jobs, particularly in middle management. But while this won’t to be easy, savings will allow us to prioritise the things that matter most to people.
“Our aim, as ever, is to improve and enhance the city for residents, and this package of measures is the next step to achieving this. Councillors will consider these proposals next week and we are looking forward to the discussions.”