No forced job losses at East Dunbartonshire Council despite £13 million budget cuts

East Dunbartonshire Council headquarters
East Dunbartonshire Council headquarters

East Dunbartonshire Council has promised that no one will be forced to leave their job despite the council having to save £13 million in the next year.

The council’s ruling Conservative/Labour administration budget was agreed at last night’s meeting (Thursday, March 17) in the council’s headquarters in Kirkintilloch.

Sixteen councillors voted for the revenue budget and eight voted for the SNP’s alternative while 14 councillors voted for the capital budget and eight voted for the SNP amendment.

The administration claims that there will be no loss of services and they will use in-house services rather than outsource them.

The council says adult social services will be unaffected by cuts to protect the most vulnerable.

The cost of school meals will not increase and cemetery charges will be reduced by 25 per cent.

Two directors will be cut in a restructure - education and children’s services Gordon Currie and neighbourhood services Grace Irvine.

Over 1.2 million this coming year and just under £2 million in future financial years will be made by changes to workers terms and conditions.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie, said: “It gives me no pleasure to present the continued bleak financial picture ahead.

“It is essential that we balance our future priorities and needs with our ever-dwindling resources.

“Despite reducing our budget by nearly £50 million over the last 10 years, we face further savings this year in excess of those we had forecast.

“Our savings target of £9.886 million does not include our £3.3 million turnover target so in reality we will have over £13 million of savings to deliver.

“We will do all that we can do to protect services and retain jobs.

“I am making a commitment that there will be no enforced job losses and no reduction in service delivery this year.

“We do not underestimate the impact of these proposals, particularly the terms and conditions review, on our workforce. They are our biggest asset, and they will be supported through organisational changes.

“We anticipate further savings of over £20 million in the next two years and our work now will help us face these challenges.”

The council will negotiate changes to workers terms and conditions with trades unions over the next three months to try to reach agreement and the deadline has been extended to September 12.

The council also plans to carry out a pot hole blitz over the next two months using left-over winter budget.