Argyll and Bute flu pandemic warning

Flu stock photo.
Flu stock photo.

Argyll and Bute could be left more vulnerable to the effects of a flu pandemic if staffing numbers in the council’s grounds maintenance team are cut, a report has warned. 

The authority’s policy and resources committee is to debate a possible 10 per cent reduction in its street, grounds and sports pitches maintenance service tomorrow (Thursday) as part of its 2019/20 budget planning process.

The savings option, along with a number of other ways in which the council could reduce its expenditure, will then be considered by the full council at its annual budget meeting seven days later.

But a report by head of strategic finance, Kirsty Flanagan, admits that one of the risks from reducing staffing numbers is a greater demand in the event of a flu crisis.

The report states: “Reducing the grounds team would reduce the overall operational resilience which would affect services such as winter maintenance, and severe weather support.

“It would also potentially reduce resilience in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak where additional burials would place a high demand on this area of service.

“In times of peak demand, roads, amenity and waste services will deliver services to the area most in need.”