North Lanarkshire Council could cut over 1,000 jobs to save £68m

North Lanarkshire CouncilOver 1,000 full-time jobs are at risk at North Lanarkshire Council as the local authority bids to save £68.3 million over the next two financial years.

Councillors will be asked next week to accept measures to save £22.7m, a move which will result in 23 post reductions.

A report to be considered by the policy and resources committee on Wednesday, detailing nearly 100 options being considered to make the savings the council needs to find for 2016/17 and 2017/18, will also seek approval for a consultation on savings of £45.6m, which will see over 1,000 post closures.

The council warned of “consequences for the vital services” and said it would look to avoid compulsory redundancies.

Council leader Jim McCabe said: “We continue to face a real-terms cut in the money made available to us by the Scottish Government and so we have no choice but to find more savings on top of the £110m we’ve been forced to save in the last five years.

“Many of the options to save this kind of money are extremely unpalatable and will have real consequences for the vital services we provide to the people of North Lanarkshire.

“They will also have a real impact on our employees, who work so hard to provide those services.”

The committee report states: “The response of the workforce to date has been absolutely immense and it is to everyone’s credit that over the last five years £110m of savings has been made whilst we have continued to very positively develop and deliver the priority services determined by the council.

“Despite the increased challenges the council will continue to manage this in a way which not only best protects and supports our priority services but also reflects our commitment to as far as possible keep to a minimum the number of redundancies which could be required on a compulsory basis.”

Councillor McCabe said that if the consultation on cuts was approved it would run throughout November, with feedback provided in January to councillors before the budget was set in February.

He added: “It’s important to stress that these are options for consultation and not decisions.

“Those will be made once we have analysed all the feedback from residents, employees and trade unions.

“We are committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies and will do everything we can to deal with reductions in staffing through voluntary redundancy, early retirement and redeployment.”

Councillor McCabe also said that the authority was “committed to ensuring that we are still able to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities”.

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