Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh council 'optimistic' of no compulsory redundancies

Edinburgh city council Image copyright Google

Edinburgh council leaders are "cautiously optimistic" they can shed 2,000 jobs in 12 months without the need for compulsory redundancies.

The city's Labour/SNP coalition has identified £85m worth of savings to balance next year's budget.

The proposals, which include selling off property as well as job cuts, will go before councillors next week.

The union Unison said it did not believe enough was being done to avoid compulsory redundancies.

The council admitted the cuts would damage services but insisted its priority was to protect the most vulnerable.

Council tax will stay the same although council leader Andrew Burns said "serious consideration" was being given to raising it despite a Scottish government freeze.

He said there would be a rise in coming years and urged the quick reform of local government finance.

Edinburgh council cuts

2000

jobs to go in 12 months

  • £85m savings needed

  • 60% of budget made up by workforce

Thinkstock

The council previously said the workforce made up 60% of its budget and it would be "unrealistic" to make the required savings without reducing the number of employees.

Alasdair Rankin, the council's finance convener, said: "We are very clear about the scale of the financial challenge that the council is facing.

"The council is experiencing greater demand for services than ever before, with a growing population in Edinburgh and increasing numbers of older people and younger people, while our overall budget remains the same.

"We need to take action in order to achieve the necessary savings to meet this demand, and we are making every effort to do this in a way that will safeguard frontline services for the people of Edinburgh.

"We want to invest in the services that are important to the public but must also look to rationalise our spending where appropriate."

John Stevenson, president of Unison's City of Edinburgh Branch, said: "We're a bit worried about it frankly. The council needs to keep a very close eye on how this is being managed because we're worried that there's not enough being done to avoid compulsory redundancies.

"We would like to see them looking into things like redeploying people into jobs where people want to leave but are not being allowed to, and the other situations where people are being told to leave but they don't want to."

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