BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 19:05 GMT
Council plans to shed 1,000 jobs
Edinburgh Council
Edinburgh Council made the announcement just after 1600 GMT
About 1,000 jobs are expected to be lost after Edinburgh City Council announced major restructuring plans.

The local authority said its proposals would ensure that council tax-payers received better value for money and improve front-line services.

However, unions have voiced anger at the proposals, which aim to save 57m over three years.

The cost of implementing the council's management and IT changes has been estimated at 27m.

A large proportion of the posts which will be lost are currently filled by agency staff.

City leaders are collaborating with neighbouring local authorities to merge posts, although it is thought that only a handful of jobs will be lost in Fife and the Borders.

The Council has made progress in improving performance in recent years but we recognise that there is more that we need to do to improve services
Tom Aitchison
Edinburgh City Council

Staff will be offered voluntary redundancy, but council officials have been unable to rule out compulsory job loses.

The bulk of the job loses are planned to be leached through "natural wastage". The council has a 9% turnover.

It is proposed to shed the equivalent of 822 full-time positions, equating to about 1,000 employees after part-time jobs are taken into account.

The proposals are part of a programme which aims to improve the efficiency and quality of council services across Scotland.

Tom Aitchison, Edinburgh City Council's chief executive, sent an email to staff just after 1600 GMT.

DEPARTMENTS AFFECTED
Initial customer contact
Customer assessment and decision making processes
Council tax revenues
Home-based services
Procurement
Strategic functions
Administration and clerical support
Pensions administration and investments
Trading standards and environmental health

He said: "The council has made progress in improving performance in recent years but we recognise that there is more that we need to do to improve services and maintain value for money for the people of Edinburgh.

"Therefore the council welcomed the opportunity, funded by the Scottish Government, to lead a Shared Services Pathfinder project, in partnership with Fife and Scottish Borders Councils, and to be at the forefront of moves to create a more efficient public sector in Scotland.

"This project aims to identify opportunities for efficiency savings and service improvements through the simplification, standardisation and sharing of council processes and services.

"It builds on a range of improvement activity that has already been undertaken by the council, including restructuring around customer-focussed service groupings, rationalising our office buildings and investing in modern technology."

Unison officials said they believed the proposals would hit front-line services.

The union said it would ballot for strike action if there were to be compulsory redundancies.

SEE ALSO
Council workers vote for strike
17 Aug 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific