A total of 458 Argyll and Bute Council employees have expressed an interest in a voluntary redundancy package as part of the authority’s cost-cutting plans.
The number represents around nine per cent of the council’s total workforce of approximately 5,100 people.
Almost all the authority’s employees - the exceptions being teachers and registered social care staff - were contacted in September and asked to consider whether they wanted to apply for voluntary redundancy as the council aims to make savings of up to £26 million.
The council’s budget proposals, including the impact on jobs, along with the results of its ‘Planning Our Future’ public consultation exercise, will be published at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk on January 28 and considered by the authority’s policy and resources committee in Lochgilphead on February 4.
They will then be put to the vote at the full council’s annual budget-setting meeting a week later.
The authority had previously stated that the consultation results would be considered at that February 4 meeting; seeking clarification on the subject, we were told the papers for the same meeting would also include details of the next financial year’s budget proposals.
A spokesperson for the council said: “Those committee papers, which will include the budget papers pack, will be available to read on the council’s website from Thursday, January 28.
“The council’s budget-setting meeting will take place on Thursday, February 11. The agenda for the council budget meeting will be available to read on the council’s website from Thursday, February 4. Final decisions affecting jobs will be made by the council at their budget meeting.”
Members of the public were asked for their views on more than 140 ‘savings options’ in a consultation which ran from October 30 to December 31.
Those options included getting rid of all secondary school librarians, cutting school support staff numbers by 20 per cent, scrapping school crossing patrols, shutting all council-run public toilets, ending financial support for local advice services and replacing all the authority’s flower beds with grass.