Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 14:46 UK

Council cuts due in 'dark times'

South Lanarkshire Council headquarters
The council hopes to make savings of £6m annually

About 150 management jobs at South Lanarkshire Council are to be axed and some public services outsourced under plans aimed at saving £6m annually.

The local authority said the efficiency measures were required as it prepared for "dark times ahead".

Proposals approved by the council on Wednesday included creating a charitable trust to run its arts and cultural services.

Union representatives warned of further cuts to come in the future.

The council said it would will also be sourcing alternative providers to run its fleet of vehicles.

Longer term plans for services provided by the local authority include partnerships with other public bodies to deliver environmental health and trading standards, privatisation of nursery provision and reducing gritting during winter months.

The proposals are an indication of what lies ahead for public sector workers if the public spending cuts proceed
Stephen Smellie
Unsion

The proposals follow an all-party members' seminar held by the council at the beginning of March to look at developing an efficiency agenda during the current recession.

A spokesman for South Lanarkshire Council said: "While the impact on us of the UK financial situation is not yet fully clear, we are realistic enough to know that we face a prospect that requires us to take forward a wider and more in-depth range of proposals to reduce costs.

"The review of our management structures is a key element of that."

He added: "In all this, however, the council recognises we are only as good as our employees who deliver our services, and that managers are the ones who drive the council's policy."

Stephen Smellie, South Lanarkshire's Unison representative, said: "The proposals are an indication of what lies ahead for public sector workers if the public spending cuts proceed.

"There is no doubt that services will be affected and that there will be a loss of jobs."

He added: "Unsion will engage with the council to minimise the loss of jobs and services.

"At the same time we will campaign to persuade government at Scottish and UK level of the disastrous consequences of slashing budgets while bailing out the banks with public money."



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SEE ALSO
Council facing more budget cuts
10 Sep 09 |  North East/N Isles
Call to overhaul council system
22 Aug 09 |  Scotland
Council facing 'bigger shortfall'
08 Jan 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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