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Compulsory redundancies possible

Overspent Edinburgh City Council to axe 2,000 jobs

Edinburgh City CouncilEdinburgh Council is looking to cut 2,000 jobs in order to meet a £126 million budget shortfall over the next four years.

Overspending on health and property has been identified a big target for savings. The finance and resources committee will consider a number of proposals at its meeting next Thursday.

Councillors will consider compulsory redundancy as a further option in the future, to achieve the required savings. The workforce makes up 60% of the budget and the council says it is “unrealistic” to make the required savings without reducing the numbers currently employed.

Councillor Alasdair Rankin, finance convener, said: “We are very clear about the scale of the financial challenge that the council is facing.

“The council is experiencing greater demand for services than ever before, with a growing population in Edinburgh and increasing numbers of older people and younger people, while our overall budget remains the same.

“We need to take action in order to achieve the necessary savings to meet this demand, and we are making every effort to do this in a way that will safeguard frontline services for the people of Edinburgh.

“We want to invest in the services that are important to the public but must also look to rationalise our spending where appropriate. We recognise that some of these proposals may involve tough decisions, including a reduction in council jobs, particularly in middle management. But while this won’t to be easy, savings will allow us to prioritise the things that matter most to people.

“Our aim, as ever, is to improve and enhance the city for residents, and this package of measures is the next step to achieving this. Councillors will consider these proposals next week and we are looking forward to the discussions.”

The proposals also recommend outsourcing facilities management to a third party provider, which would deliver cost benefits, while achieving service delivery requirements. An alternative proposal, involving an in-house solution, with support from an external specialist, has also been outlined.

By reviewing and reducing the extensive number of properties owned by the council, and implementing a clear investment strategy, resulting in a smaller, better performing portfolio, it aims to deliver a lower cost and cost-effective estate.

The flagship Atria office development next door to the EICC was put up for sale yesterday.

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