Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 14:30 UK

Council faced with 60m shortfall

North Lanarkshire Council headquarters
The council is facing an annual shortfall of about 20m

One of Scotland's biggest councils is facing a budget shortfall of £60m over the next three years and is likely to raise its annual savings target.

North Lanarkshire Council has already secured efficiency savings of £55m in recent years.

However, a report to go before a council committee next week recommends increasing the annual savings target from £10m to £15m.

Details of how services would be affected have not been revealed.

The council is said to be doing everything it can to protect and maintain core frontline services, but cuts in some areas are expected.

Residents could also be asked to pay for some services that are currently delivered free.

Balanced budget

The report, to be presented at the local authority's Policy and Resources Committee, states: "In view of the changing economic environment and the anticipated review of local government grant support 2010/2011, it would be prudent, in order to ensure a balanced budget position, to extend the £10m efficiency target to £15m."

A spokesman for the council said: "North Lanarkshire is committed to efficiencies and continues to examine ways in which we can further improve the use of taxpayers money while maintaining frontline services.

"The current economic climate will mean reduced budgets for the public sector, and while planning is at an advanced stage we await the government's budget announcement and the opportunity to examine its details and implications before commenting further."

Earlier this week South Lanarkshire Council revealed it would cut about 150 management posts and outsource some services in a bid to save £6m annually.

The local authority warned of "dark times ahead".

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