Angry parents are to stage a protest outside Argyll and Bute Council’s Lochgilphead HQ on Thursday ahead of a special meeting of the council.
The protest has been organised by Argyll and Bute Parents Against Council Cuts (AB-PACC), one of several Facebook groups set up in response to the list of 140 ‘savings options’ published by the authority earlier this month, and is set to be streamed live online here by Independence Live from 10am on Thursday.
The special council meeting will consider, and vote on, the details of a public consultation on the proposed cuts, which are part of a programme the council is calling Service Choices and which aims to bridge a predicted funding gap of between £21.6 million and £27 million.
The AB-PACC group’s particular concern surrounds a proposal to reduce additional support needs provision in the area’s schools by 72 full-time equivalent posts, or 45 per cent.
Other Service Choices proposals include getting rid of all secondary school librarians (including one at Rothesay Academy), cutting the number of clerical assistants in both primary and secondary schools by 20 per cent, abolishing the area’s four ‘attendance officer’ posts (including one at Rothesay Joint Campus), replacing floral bedding displays and rose and shrub gardens with areas of grass, slashing the opening hours at Rothesay’s ‘customer service point’ at Eaglesham House to just 17.5 a week, removing the council’s direct funding of advice agencies, and closing 43 public toilets.