Glasgow & West Scotland

North Lanarkshire Council may cut more than 1,000 jobs

North Lanarkshire Council logo
Image caption The council hopes to make £55m in savings by 2012

One of Scotland's largest local authorities has warned that it may have to cut more than 1,000 jobs.

North Lanarkshire Council is set to discuss ways of saving £70m over the next three years.

The authority said it hoped to make the bulk of post reductions through natural turnover, early retirements and voluntary redundancies.

But if this target cannot be achieved, the council said it may have to consider compulsory redundancies.

A draft report due to go before the policy and resources committee next week sets out various options for making savings and raising additional revenue.

It states that savings of £70m will be needed over the next three years and recommends that £55m should be made over the next two.

In addition to any job cuts, the report states that cutting free school transport to the legal minimum could save £2m while removing community wardens might save £750,000.

It also outlines ways of raising money such as increasing lunch club charges.

If the report is approved, the proposals will go out to consultation for two months before decisions on what cuts to make are taken towards the end of November.

A council spokesman said: "The policy and resources committee will be asked to approve options for consultation.

"It is important to emphasise that no decisions will be taken until we have consulted thoroughly with our service users, our employees and other groups.

"Once that consultation is complete, the council will make decisions on the savings options at the end of November."

North Lanarkshire Council has an annual budget of around £900m. Like every other Scottish authority, it still does not know precisely how much money it will have next year.

National cuts

About 80% of its money comes from the Scottish government, which will only be able to decide how much it can give councils next year, after the outcome of the UK government's comprehensive spending review in October.

The council has already said it would welcome some flexibility in setting the council tax next year.

However, even if the council tax rose the authority would still need to look at substantial savings.

The projected job cuts at North Lanarkshire take the running total of likely job losses at Scottish councils over the next few years to about 12,000.

The final total is likely to be far higher, however, as the majority of councils have not yet announced a figure.

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