ERC budget cuts could mean 200 jobs lost

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Up to 200 jobs could be cut by East Renfrewshire Council in a bid to close a budget gap of £20 million over the next three years.

The council has released details of its budget savings proposals, and are asking residents to discuss the plans in a consultation running until December 5.

ERC has assured residents that around £10.3 million — 58 per cent — of the savings required could be saved without impacting on frontline services.

But the savings made by “significantly changing council processes and systems to reduce administration, increase the use of digital and help the organisation to be as lean as possible” are also likely to result in a reduction of 200 jobs.

A spokeswoman added: “The council will aim to achieve this through natural turnover, management of vacancies and voluntary redundancy. Savings will be phased over three years to help manage the process. Consultation with trade unions is underway.”

The council’s plan to transfer cultural and leisure services to a charitable trust — voted through to the next stage in June, depsite local opposition — is also included in the saving proposal.

ERC leader Jim Fletcher said: “The proposals we are presenting today do not make easy reading, and it is with a very heavy heart that my colleagues and I must bring this savings package forward for review.

“We have left no stone unturned in trying to identify where we can make savings with the minimal impact on local people.

“Our priority has been to make as many savings as possible by changing how we work internally before any service reviews are considered.

“The focus has always been on maintaining quality services, particularly to our most vulnerable residents, while protecting local jobs.

“Despite our best efforts, a reduction in staff numbers and the services we provide is likely to be unavoidable.”

East Ren Council will host an event on November 19, allowing community representatives and residents to put questions to the senior management team.

A final decision on the proposals — available to view at is expected in February 2015.

What do you think of the council’s budget cut plan? Email Gillian (address above) for inclusion in this week’s paper.