Tayside and Central Scotland

Clackmannanshire Council publishes list of proposed cuts

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Clackmannanshire Council needs to make savings of up to £25m in the next five years

Clackmannanshire Council has published a list of proposed cuts to services as it attempts to save up to £25m from its budget over the next five years.

The local authority said it was facing an unprecedented challenge to make the savings following decreased funding from central government.

Among the cuts suggested are the removal of 19 learning assistants from schools in the area by August 2014.

Locals are being asked to respond to the proposals by 22 January 2014.

The full list of suggested savings are available in the Officer Savings Proposals Consultation booklet.

Also proposed are cuts to care packages for the elderly, mental health and learning disability services as well as the introduction of means testing for respite care for children with disabilities.

Proposals have also been put forward to cut school clothing grants for those on very low incomes from £55 to £35 as well as removing swimming lessons for primary 4 and 5 pupils.

'Extremely difficult'

The council is also considering extending parking charges in central Alloa as well as removing subsidised bus services at evenings and weekends and cutting school transport provision.

Clackmannanshire Council said it had already saved £14m from its budget in the past three years. However, the authority said more than £7m needs to be cut in the next financial year and £25m over the next five years.

The authority's chief executive Elaine McPherson said the council was left with little option but to implement dramatic cost savings.

She said: "Given the scale of the financial challenges facing the council, councillors will have to make extremely difficult choices about where to allocate reducing resources.

"It is not going to be possible for the council to deliver all the services it currently does in the way it currently does; instead, the council will need to reduce costs, prioritise its resources and operate in a more integrated way with its public service partners to achieve its intended outcomes."

Ms McPherson said it was vital that locals had input on what the final cost saving measures would be.

She added: "It is important to note that these are officer proposals and are not approved savings.

"Nothing will be finalised until the council approves its budget in 2014. Prior to that budget being set, feedback from the full range of consultation activity will be shared with all elected members to inform budget decisions."

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