Council services face more cuts in 2014

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East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) has revealed a raft of proposals to cut services in a desperate bid to help save nearly £7million next year.

The authority has predicted further and deeper cuts in a bid to achieve target savings of £6.885million for 2014/15 which will hit even harder as it follows £34million of savings in the past seven years.

Amongst services which could be hit are winter roads maintenance and school meal provision.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie insists there are no alternatives to the tough choices that the administration is having to make.

Some of the options being considered include reducing the winter maintenance budget, whereby some roads, paths and pavements could be reclassified.

A report outlining cuts-options states: “This would clearly require a strong focus on ensuring any risk of increased vehicle and pedestrian accidents was minimised.”

Overtime working could stop, resulting in reduced catering and cleaning services across the council - with the predominant effect within schools.

This could see janitors covering more than one building, and where there are absences there could be a reduced school dinner menu, with snacks given instead.

The potential savings are £45,000 for three months.

There could be less supported accommodation for those with a learning disability or with mental health needs.

This enables them to live safely within the community.

The council acknowledges that ‘individuals may be left with some risk’ until resources become available as a result but it would save £60,000 in a year.

EDC has ruled out the option of stopping weekend street cleaning which is expensive due to overtime payments as the authority was worried that litter would build up, particularly in town centres.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “In our Revenue paper, we highlighted the unprecedented financial challenges we face.

“When we set the Revenue Budget in February for 2014-2015 we, like all councils in Scotland, will need to make some very difficult decisions.

“At Tuesday’s council meeting we highlighted some of the options that our Directorate will need to consider to find the necessary savings.

“We have also committed to finding as many savings as possible through organisational planning.”