Argyll and Bute budget: what’s been saved, and what’s been cut?

Argyll and Bute Council's HQ at Kilmory in Lochgilphead.
Argyll and Bute Council's HQ at Kilmory in Lochgilphead.

A package of policy savings worth £5.186 million forms part of Argyll and Bute Council’s 2016-17 budget, while savings options worth £1.402m have been rejected. But what areas of council spending were spared the axe - and where will jobs and services be cut?

As we reported on Thursday, the full-time equivalent (FTE) of 82 jobs will go at the council in the course of the next financial year.

A savings target of more than £10 million will be achieved partly through those policy savings, partly through more than £1m in other savings which don’t have an impact on policy or jobs, partly through a £944,000 saving in areas such as travel expenses and overtime, and partly through an increase of 6 per cent in fees and charges for most council services.

The full list of proposed savings options, split into those which have been rejected and those which have been accepted (either in full or in part), together with the impact on FTE posts (where applicable), is as follows.

Options rejected

EDUC05g Reduce subsidy payments to community swimming pools

EDUC07a Reduce primary school classroom assistants by 20% (8.0 FTE posts were under threat)

EDUC07d Reduce primary school janitor costs by 20% (8.6 FTE posts were under threat)

EDUC07k Stop lunch payments for primary school supervision staff

EDUC08a Reduce secondary school classroom assistants by 20% (6.6 FTE posts were under threat)

EDUC08c Reduce secondary school janitor costs by 20% (2.0 FTE posts were under threat)

EDUC08g Reduce school technician costs by 20% (6.0 FTE posts were under threat)

EDUC08k Stop lunch payments for secondary school supervision staff

CC02a Reduce Adult Learning/Literacies service availability (3.4 FTE posts were under threat)

CSS02k End discretionary non-domestic rates relief for charities

FS03m Remove out of hours property emergency line cover

FS04G Remove discretionary Community Transport Grant funding

PRS04g Reduce debt counselling service to focus on complex cases (1.0 FTE posts were under threat)

RAMS01c Removal of hanging baskets (1.5 FTE posts were under threat)

RAMS01d Close 43 public conveniences across Argyll and Bute (7.6 FTE posts were under threat)

RAMS01f Replace annual bedding display with grass areas (1.6 FTE posts were under threat)

RAMS01k Reduce Environmental Warden Team (4.5 FTE posts were under threat)

RAMS01o Additional Roads and Amenity Service staff reduction (8.0 FTE posts were under threat)

RAMS02a Reduce coastal and flooding work budgets 1.8 FTE posts were under threat)

RAMS02b Reduce bridge assessment budget (0.2 FTE posts were under threat)

RAMS03c Reduce budget for road works/bridge repairs (3.0 FTE posts were under threat)

RAMS05d Removal of food waste collection, Helensburgh area

SF01F Further review of Strategic Finance team

Value of options rejected - £1.402mm (62FTE jobs secured) 4.0 FTE posts were under threat)

Savings options accepted in part or in full

SF01a Review of staffing structure within Strategic Finance (5.0 FTE posts to be lost)

CC02b Adult Literacies and Learning – reduce spend in areas based on needs assessment

CC03a Reduce cost of combined community development and community planning teams (1.7 FTE posts to be lost)

CC03b Provide reduced amount of third sector grant funding – full saving in first year, with 10% in 17/18 and 10% in 18/19

CC03c Introduce consistent management arrangements for four community centres

CC05/1, CC05a, CC10a, CC11a, CC11a/1 Create a charitable leisure trust to bring together council owned community halls, libraries, swimming pools and fitness facilities (125.4 FTE posts to be transferred to the new trust)

CC06a Provide reduced level of funding support for events and festivals

CC06b Offer Campbeltown Museum for community ownership

CC006c Provide reduced level of funding for arts development

CC08a Provide reduced level of funding to energy and mediation advice services where other opportunities are available and where there is less demand for service

CC08b Align funding for rent deposit scheme to current demand

CC08c Reduce budget for housing IT, strategy development and staff training following major work done in 2014/15

CC08d Reduce staffing costs re promotion of housing information/capacity for partnership work

CC08e Save council funds by transferring strategic staff costs to Strategic Housing Fund

CC10b Reduce library management costs (1.0 FTE post to be cut)

CC10c Saving of £50,000 on mobile library service (3.5 FTE posts to be cut)

CC12A Provide reduced level of funding for domestic abuse outreach support

CC12b Provide reduced level of funding for tenancy support contracts

EDUC01a Align disability access budget (for adaptations in education centres) with current demand following previous underspend

EDUC01b Review Service Level Agreement for home and hospital tuition in line with previous demand

EDUC01c Reduce education Quality Improvement Team materials budget

EDUC01d Align specialist equipment budget with demand following previous underspend

EDUC01e Reprioritise repairs and maintenance budget for Education HQ

EDUC01h Manage cover for ASN assistants from within current devolved budget at individual schools

EDUC01i Deliver ASN efficiencies and match resources to greatest assessed need (reduction of 1.6 FTE posts)

EDUC03a Continue to provide statutory duties only for children under 5 – part saving only

EDUC03b Budget levels reduced for pre-5 resources – part saving only (6.0 FTE posts were under threat)

EDUC03d Reduction in Early Years third sector grants and services – part saving only *

EDUC03e Part saving (10%) in Early Years Change Fund

EDUC03c Provide for a 1% inflationary uplift only on payments to Early learning and Child Care Commissioned providers (in line with current indicators)

EDUC05a Reduce central administrative support (4.0 FTE posts to go)

EDUC05c Provide reduced level of funding for PE facilities matched to priorities

EDUC05d Janitorial cover availability reduced by 20%

EDUC05e Education central repairs budget reduced and prioritised

EDUC05h Remove Attendance Officer posts and use current processes and systems in place to manage attendance (reduction of 4.0 FTE posts)

EDUC05j Align clothing grant budget to current demand following previous underspend

EDUC02b Provide reduced level of creative arts programmes in schools (0.2 FTE posts to be cut)

EDUC02c Increase fees for non statutory music tuition, reduced to 44% to accommodate inflation

EDUC02d Instrumental instructor provision reduced by 20% (2.6 FTE posts to go)

EDUC07b Accept 5% reduction only in clerical assistants in primary schools, prioritizing support provided (3.25 FTE posts to be cut)

EDUC07c Pupil Support Assistants to be matched to greatest assessed need – part reduction (10%) only (equates to 111 fewer hours per year across 30 primary schools) (reduction of 1.5 FTE)

EDUC07e Continue primary school supply teacher cover at reduced level

EDUC07f Remove management development and training budget (primary schools)

EDUC07g Prioritise primary school grounds maintenance work to manage 20% resource reduction

EDUC07h Reduce devolved budgets for individual schools as they are supplementary to central education budget, prioritizing expenditure

EDUC07i Provide foreign language training through Scottish Government Languages 1+2 budget

EDUC12a Provide statutory Educational Psychology services following 7% budget reduction (reduction of 0.6 FTE)

EDUC12b Align residential schools budget to current demand following reduced demand

EDUC08b Accept 5% reduction only in secondary school clerical support (reduction of 1.5 FTE)

EDUC08d Provide secondary school supply teacher cover at reduced level

EDUC08e Remove management development and training budget in secondary schools

EDUC08f School librarians in secondary schools no longer provided (reduction of 10.0 FTE)

EDUC08h Prioritise grounds maintenance work in secondary schools to manage 20% reduced resource

EDUC08i Reduce devolved budgets for individual secondary schools as they are supplementary to central budget with prioritised expenditure

CSS03a/b/c Increase email and electronic transactions to save more on postage, printing and stationery

CSS01a/b/c/d/j Change in opening hours for Customer Service Points and promote alternatives to over the counter payments (reduction of 3.5 FTE)

CSS01e Tiree Service Point service provided through voluntary sector contract in line with Jura and Colonsay (reduction of 0.5 FTE)

CSS01f/l Increase use of emails at Customer Service Points to save money on postage, printing and stationery

CSS01k Remove small repairs budget at Jura and Colonsay service points where requirements have been minimal

CSS01m Change Rothesay Service Point opening hours in line with current volume, delivering service over five half-days (reduction of 0.5 FTE but not until 2017-18)

CSS04b More economical replacements for broadband circuits in offices and schools to match capacity and usage

CSS02c/d Increase use of email to avoid use of pre-paid envelopes and reduce costs

CSS02g Develop in-house services for council tax e-billing/landlords portals in place of external contract

CSS02h Apply landlord penalties where applicable to help council tax collection

CSS02i Retrieve cost of administering double charge council tax from income raised

CSS02j Align benefit advisor posts to match reduced caseload

FS01a-c Long term redesign of catering service

FS01d Build up and develop catering service for events and functions

FS02a-b Long term redesign of cleaning service

FS03f Generate water utility savings with no significant impact on current service

FS03g Generate energy utility savings with no significant impact on current service

FS03h Increase heating efficiency through use of biomass boilers

FS03i Use opportunities for external providers to reduce costs of Estates service (reduction of 1.4 FTE)

FS03j Prioritise use of central repairs budget for schools, libraries and social work services to manage 14.5% reduction (3.0 FTE posts to be cut)

FS03k Prioritise maintenance for shared offices with 8.4% central budget reduction (1.0 FTE posts to be cut)

FS03l Prioritise use of shared office central repairs budget with 21.6% reduced resource

FS04b Explore external partnership working to improve use of fleet/transport resources between council teams

FS04f Prioritise/reduce bus shelters and stops built or replaced in 2016/17 only

GL01a1 Reduced committee/governance/elected member support including increased self service resource for members

IHR03a Redesign staff personal safety training including online development

IHR03b Redesign health and safety service including increased online support and prioritizing high risk service areas

IHR01a Combine HR and Improvement/Organisational Development teams to create a single one-stop shop service, with reduced saving in 2018/19 to retain statistician post (reduction of 1.5 FTE, rising to 13.7 FTE in future years)

ED02a Phased reduction of subsidy payments to freight operators in Campbeltown to align with standard rates by 2018/19

ED02b Increase piers and harbours berthing charges

PRS02b Introduce charges for pre-application advice for major and locally significant planning applications, in line with other local authorities

PRS02c Reduce planning development management team with increase in time to register planning applications

PRS02d Remodel planning enforcement team with increase in response time to planning breach complaints (reduction of 1.0 FTE)

PRS03b Provide in-house solution for aerial photography currently sourced externally

PRS03c Introduce charges for developers/property owners for statutory street numbering in line with other local authorities

PRS03d Develop in-house solutions to allow removal of software/licences used for local development plan consultation

PRS03e Increase use of online consultation for Local Development Plan

PRS03f Provide core duties/statutory access rights of way and up to date Core Path Plan

PRS03g Remove footpath survey software and Local Access Forum budgetand use alternative ways of surveying and supporting the forum

PRS03h Use in-house legal advice if required to resolve access disputes to allow removal of specialist legal expenses budget

PRS03i Introduce charges for Phase 1 Habitat Surveys

PRS03j Efficiency savings and business support costs reduced through staff reductions (1.0 FTE post to be cut)

PRS03k Remodel Access Team to focus on statutory duties (reduction of 1.0 FTE)

PRS03l Review Development Policy Team (reduction of 1.0 FTE from 2017-18 onwards)

PRS04a Remove vacant Regulatory Services alternative enforcement post (reduction of 0.6 FTE)

PRS04c Increase charges to businesses for inspection and certification of food export certificates in line with other local authorities

PRS04e Achieve central administration cost savings through improved processes and systems (reduction of 1.0 FTE)

PRS04f Review advice services across Argyll and Bute while maintaining a reduced allocation of funding to advice agencies (25% reduction only)

PRS04h Increase income from private landlord registration scheme through targeted enforcement work on unregistered private landlords

RAMS01a Increase burial charges by 20% while costs still remain below average in 9 comparative council areas

RAMS01b Cremation charges increase limited to 14%

RAMS01e Remove subsidies to Tobermory Harbour Association on phased basis

RAMS01g Rose and shrub beds to be returned to grass (reduction of 3.4 FTE)

RAMS01h Hedges maintained in winter only with one cut per year reduction of 0.9 FTE)

RAMS01i Grass cutting carried out once in October/November with other areas returned to meadow/natural growth (reduction of 1.0 FTE)

RAMS01j Phased recovery of costs for services to Cowal Games including temporary toilets, event support, litter collection, staffing etc

RAMS01l Reduce street sweeping frequency – half saving only accepted from original proposal of 50% (reduction of 2.2 FTE)

RAMS01m Prioritise dangerous/urgent maintenance within Roads and Amenity property to manage 25% reduced resource

RAMS01n Prioritise dangerous/urgent maintenance within depots to manage 25% reduced resource

RAMS02c Achieve central administration cost savings by improving processes and systems and reducing training budgets (reduction of 1.0 FTE)

RAMS02d Reduce central administrative support from 2017 (reduction of 2.0 FTE from 2017-18)

RAMS03a Increase car parking charges from 80p to £1, introduce to Mull car parks and introduce year round charging at other car parks

RAMS03b Remove school crossing patrollers only in relation to lunchtime patrols and where there is already an electronic crossing in place (exact FTE impact not stated)

RAMS03d Reduce roads operations costs by removing a vacant post and reducing budget for vehicles and plant

RAMS04a Christmas lights funding – saving accepted in longer term only with funding from reserves for a period of three years

RAMS04b Increase street lighting planned repairs on an area basis, reduce reactive repairs (reduction of 0.5 FTE)

RAMS04c Use new lighting units which would reduce maintenance and energy costs

RAMS04d Recover costs for event banners and other non-core council activities

RAMS05a5 Rubbish collection – three-weekly collection with new shift pattern to make better use of fewer vehicles, retaining fortnightly recycling collections using double shift patterns (reduction of 7.0 FTE)

RAMS05b Three-weekly general waste, bi-weekly co-mingled uplift by internal resource for Islay in line with other local areas

RAMS05e Remove vacant post in Waste Management Service (reduction of 2.0 FTE)