Could Argyll and Bute ASN cuts plan be scrapped?

The council chamber at Argyll and Bute Council's Lochgilphead HQ.
The council chamber at Argyll and Bute Council's Lochgilphead HQ.

Argyll and Bute Council is set to consider whether controversial proposals to reduce additional support needs staff numbers should be taken out of its cuts consultation.

A full meeting of the council on Thursday, November 26 will be asked to consider an ‘ongoing operational review’ of the provision of the service - ASN for short.

That review has been under way since the spring of this year, with the aim of “achieving an equitable distribution of support and delivering service efficiencies”.

The authority is currently consulting the public on a list of more than 140 possible spending cuts - including reducing ASN provision by 45 per cent by cutting the full-time equivalent of 72 jobs.

A report prepared for this Thursday’s council meeting states that the subject is being considered now - more than a month before the end of the Service Choices consultation - “to avoid a lengthy period of uncertainty for parents”.

The report recommends that the council “consider whether the option of reducing ASN assistant support by 45% should be removed from the current Service Choices consultation programme.”