Council axes 120 jobs in savings bid

MORE than 120 jobs are under threat as a local authority looks to save £12million in 14 months.

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South Lanarkshire Council's executive committee agreed a plan to slash £12.2m from its budget, with council leader Eddie McAvoy warning that the authority was in for a difficult few years.

The committee approved cuts, including reducing the number of secondary school technicians by at least five and axing four full-time community wardens.

In-house adult day care will be cut by 20 full-time staff and there will be five job losses in the council's payments department and 11 in its housing and technical division. The secondary school budget will also be cut by £580,000.

A previous plan to axe lollipop men and women and increase class sizes in primaries one, two and three to the national limit were removed from the plans.

Councillor McAvoy said: "Dropping these proposals means we will have to find around £600,000 in savings elsewhere to balance the books.

"I will work with the chief executive to achieve this. We are in tough financial times.Money is tight but we will continue with the schools modernisation programme, investment in our housing stock, caring for the elderly and our roads investment programme which began in 2008.

"Make no mistake, looking ahead 2014/15 and 2015/16 will be difficult years and we are going to have to take some hard decisions.

"We don't raise any money apart from council tax and we don't have the opportunity to raise income."

Trade union Unison has raised concerns over the slashing of budgets and potential job losses, but praised the council for its commitment to avoid compulsory redundancies.

The committee also approved raising charges for use of gyms and leisure centres by 3% and football pitch hire by 6%.

stef.lach@ heraldandtimes.co.uk

Local government

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