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Monday, 04 September 2017

Angus Council chief warns 800 jobs could be cut in next three years

Written by The Press Association

A council is facing cutting 800 jobs over the next three years as its leader warned it would no longer be able to deliver its current range and volume of services in the future.

Bob Myles, leader of Angus Council, also said it would be a "significantly different organisation" by 2022.

He made the comments ahead of a meeting on Thursday where councillors will discuss the agenda for the next five years amid continuing austerity.

Angus Council expects to have a funding shortfall of about £40 million over the next three years.

Mr Myles, who will press Finance Secretary Derek Mackay on local government funding at a meeting next week, said: "We know that the public sector needs to change and we are absolutely up for that in Angus.

"We can't make the change needed if our funding is so squeezed that we have no room for manoeuvre.

"Angus isn't alone in this - all councils are struggling to balance national and local priorities, something has to give."

The council will have to find "creative and effective ways of addressing our priorities with ever-tighter financial constraints", the independent councillor added.

While he stressed the council would "always work to meet the needs of vulnerable citizens", he made plain the authority "cannot do everything".

Mr Myles said: "We can't continue to deliver the current range and volume of services. We have to prioritise services on the areas of greatest need.

"What is clear is that Angus Council will be a significantly different organisation by 2022. We have our sights set on being a better, stronger, more sustainable and smaller council by then."

The size and make-up of the council's workforce will change, with the authority committed to cutting the number of management posts as part of changes, while more work is expected to be carried out in partnership with neighbouring local authorities.

In the last six years the council has lost the equivalent of more than 500 full-time employees, with Mr Myles warning this could reduce by a further 800 in the next three years.

However, he said the Scottish Government commitment to increase free childcare for pre-school youngsters meant the " early-years workforce will expand to support early intervention and broader support for families".

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