Jobs to go as Argyll and Bute Council faces cuts of up to £34m

Dozens of jobs look set to go as Argyll and Bute Council starts its latest round of budget cuts.

Public toilets and the road safety unit could close, while new charges for parking are being proposed.

The authority says its funding from the Scottish Government will be cut by between £11m and £34m over the next three years.

A report by head of strategic finance Kirsty Flanagan states that funding is expected to continue falling by between 3.5% and 4.5% every year.

She adds: “The financial environment for local government continues to be extremely challenging with many unknowns…

“The council is on a long term journey transforming the way in which it operates.”

A raft of savings which would see nearly 40 jobs cut by 2021 will be discussed by the policy and resources committee next week, including:

  • Closure of 36 out of the 57 public toilets across the council area, with businesses being encouraged to make their toilets available to the public
  • Higher parking charges, and new fees in places currently not charging
  • Reduction in the road safety materials budget and ‘removal’ of the road safety unit
  • School janitors being ‘reviewed’ with the equivalent of 4.5 full time jobs being cut
  • The end of payments totaling £91,00 a year to VisitScotland, as this body is moving away from giving face-to-face advice
  • Establishing a council funeral directors service to handle 1,200 burials and cremations a year
  • Stopping the display planning applications in post offices – the council says they can be viewed online

The options will be discussed in Lochgilphead next Thursday by the council’s policy and resources committee, which is also being recommended to sanction a new round of public consultation over the spending cuts.