Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow City Council to cut 1,500 posts in next year

Glasgow City Chambers Image copyright William Starkey

Glasgow City Council has passed a budget that will see it cut 1,500 posts in the next year in order to meet a £130m shortfall.

Its plan, which was first revealed last year, is part of the budget for 2016/17.

Council leader Frank McAveety said the scale of the savings was the result of "Scottish government budget cuts".

A Scottish government spokesman said the council had accepted "our fair funding deal".

He said Glasgow received a government funding allocation which would amount to £1.344bn next year.

The council claimed that £83m of the £130m shortfall would need to be found in the next year.

It said it would use reserves and other measures to reduce that to £58m.

The council said the 1,500 posts reduction would be achieved through "natural wastage". It was estimated this would save £25m.

It also plans to save £10m in procurement costs by renegotiating contracts and reviewing how it buys in goods and services.

Community grants could be cut by £6.15m, with a £1.6m reduction targeted for Police Scotland.

Grass cutting and hedge trimming could be reduced in frequency to save £1.5m.

Schools, museums, libraries and office buildings may also be cleaned less often and to a lower standard in a bid to save £700,000 and £48,000 could be cut from the graffiti removal scheme.

The council is also proposing to remove support for the Theatre Royal and reduce grants for the King's Theatre and Pollok House by 10% as part of £208,000 savings from its cultural grants.

Christmas activities and the whole festive programme will also be reviewed in the months ahead in a bid to identify possible savings.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The council is proposing to remove its financial support for the Theatre Royal

The council leader said: "The £130m cuts we face over the next two years are not just cuts from Westminster.

"Glasgow has had a double-whammy of Holyrood cuts piled on top of those from Westminster.

"When I became leader the city faced a cuts bill of £103m. Now its £130m. Make no mistake this is a direct result of the Scottish government's budget cuts."

Mr McAveety said that despite making cuts the council was still committed to frontline services.

He added: "Despite facing a huge budget shortfall, Glasgow City Council has committed to investing £100m in our schools and community facilities over the next five years with an increased capital investment fund.

"This fund will ensure that these vital facilities across the city continue to operate and don't suffer from the cuts being imposed on us - a real example of the council delivering for the communities of Glasgow."

'Over-funded'

A Scottish government spokesman said: "Glasgow City Council remains the highest funded per head of any wholly mainland council, and has accepted our fair funding deal, securing their share of a £10.3bn package - they will continue to receive their allocation which amounts to £1.344bn next year.

"In addition, updated independent analysis published today by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice) has found that when it comes to the council tax freeze and the funding of local government, the freeze has been 'over-funded' by the Scottish government, which 'has resulted in an estimated £180m extra going to local government'."

Meanwhile, East Ayrshire Council has agreed to use its reserves to avoid making any cuts in the next financial year.

The authority set its budget on Thursday and said that by using reserves it had bought time to plan ahead.

It said the decision meant there would be no compulsory job losses and spending on services would continue as planned.

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