Fife Council to lose 1,800 staff

council worker generic The council said the job losses would come in a programme of "efficiencies"

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More than 1,800 posts are set to be cut at Fife Council within the next year, it has emerged.

The cuts are being made as part of a plan to reduce the local authority's budget by almost £120m over the next four years.

Deputy leader Elizabeth Riches said the job losses would occur as part of a programme of "efficiencies".

The cuts are expected to affect about 9% of the council's 20,000 staff by March 2011.

Ms Riches described the cuts as "not an easy road to go down".

She added: "The scale of the changes we need to make are daunting and we face real financial challenges in the months and years ahead."

The authority has also warned that staffing levels may need to fall by as much as 15% by 2014.

The SNP/Lib Dem-controlled council announced a freeze on recruitment earlier this year.

Councillors will be asked next week to consider offering workers voluntary redundancy, early retirement and flexible working deals.

The local authority said trade unions would be involved in the process.

Tighter budgets

BBC Scotland local government correspondent Jamie McIvor said: "Councils across Scotland are looking at ways of cutting costs as they anticipate their budgets getting tighter for several years.

"Pay is the single biggest cost they can control - and the size of the payroll is a big factor.

"Several Scottish councils have revealed how their payroll may fall over the next few years.

"For instance, West Lothian may lose the equivalent of 1,000 full time posts by 2014. Glasgow expects to cut 2,800 over the next three years.

"However no Scottish council is currently looking at compulsory redundancies.

"These cuts will come through a combination of recruitment freezes, early retirements and voluntary redundancies."

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