One in 12 Falkirk Council jobs at risk amid £45m budget shortfall

Falkirk_CouncilAround 700 jobs could be at risk at Falkirk Council after the local authority looks to save £45 million over the next three years.

The cuts may lead to 200 jobs being lost in this financial year, 300 the following year and another 200 in 2018/19 from a workforce of over 7239.

Other cost cutting measures include closing community halls, cutting bus services for older people, charging for home care, closing council offices, the amalgamation of schools and raising council fees.

The council said it has been forced to make savings of around £10m from budgets every year since 2008 and now the financial situation is “set to get even worse”.

Estimated savings of £18.4m are needed next year, followed by £15.2m in 17/18 and £11.4m in 18/19.

Councillor Craig Martin, leader of Falkirk Council, said: “Our aim will always to continue to protect services to our communities, particularly the most vulnerable, however the level of pressure on our budgets over recent years will inevitably have an impact.

“As costs rise and funding is reduced, our budget gap has grown to around £45m – and that is a huge obstacle to overcome. This saving will have to be made over the next three years at the same time as demand for local services is increasing due to our area’s growing population.

“Every council in Scotland has to find millions of pounds worth of savings from already stretched budgets. Falkirk Council is no different and we are working hard to use every resource we have wisely and to reduce our expenditure wherever we can.”

The proposed cuts come just after the council lodged a planning application for its new headquarters and civic space.

Just last month the Accounts Commission urged the local authority to be “faster and more ambitious” in acheiving the cuts.

Councils are legally required to approve an annual balanced budget and set council tax by March 2016.

A budget report presented to councillors yesterday set out a range of possible savings, adding up to a total of £15.4m.

Full details of the budget savings can be found on the council’s website.

A final decision on whether to approve the cuts will be taken at the full council meeting in February 2016.


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