Highlands & Islands

Highland Council to make £42.8m of savings

A package of savings totalling £42.8m over four years has been agreed by Highland Council.

The cuts include a reduction, but modernisation, of the local authority's gritter fleet and the loss of 45 secondary school teaching posts.

Cutting 15 other secondary teaching jobs and reducing the time P4-7 pupils spend in class have been delayed.

The public sector union Unison has said the savings will lead to the loss of 700 jobs across council departments.

Councillors voted on the package at a meeting of the full council in Inverness on Thursday.

It involves £17.4m savings in 2015/16, £10.2m in 2016/17, £6.3m in 2017/18 and £8.9m in 2018/19.

The council said 312 full-time posts will be lost over the four years. It will seek to avoid compulsory redundancies.

The council had been trying to find savings of £64m over four years, but adjusted that figure to about £55m ahead of Thursday's meeting.

Following the meeting, it said that it still had to identify £14m of savings.

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