North Lanarkshire Council agrees £19.5m in budget cuts
North Lanarkshire Council has approved £19.5m in cuts that will see 287 full-time posts go - but the authority has pledged no compulsory redundancies.
The headcount will be reduced by not filling 177 vacancies, with the rest coming from redeployment, voluntary redundancy or early retirement.
Council rents will also rise by £1.73 per week to pay for new investment.
Council leader Jim McCabe described setting the budget for 2016/17 as "a horrendously difficult exercise".
Councillor Jim McCabe, leader of the council, said: "We have left no stone unturned in getting to a settled budget for 2016/17 and I am pleased that there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result.
"There is no doubt that some of the cuts we are being forced to make will have an impact.
"However, we carried out the biggest consultation in the council's history and have tried to reflect the message we received, which was to protect jobs and maintain services for young people and vulnerable people."
The council said that as part of setting the budget it had declined several savings options, which included:
- revising down cuts to the classroom assistant budget from £2.5m to £750,000
- not accepting the closure of First Stop Shops
- not cutting the roads maintenance budget
- rejecting changes to litter picking operations
- rejecting proposed increases in charges for lunch clubs, school breakfast clubs and school milk
- revising a proposal to cut the community learning budget by 30% to just 7%
- rejecting increases in music tuition fees
- reinstating £300,000 for health projects previously accepted as a saving.