Cuts watch: Tayside and Central

The consequences of cutting the UK's budget deficit are expected to be felt at every level of the public sector, including the services performed by Scotland's 32 councils.

BBC Scotland's news website asked local authorities in the Tayside and Central region how they thought they might be affected. Check out what they had to say.

ANGUS COUNCIL

Size: The population of the Angus council area stood at 110,250 in 2009. The authority has 4,928.5 full time equivalent posts.

Spending review branding

A special BBC News season examining the approaching cuts to public sector spending

Budget: Net estimated revenue expenditure of £262.953m for 2010/11 (excluding contributions to/from general fund balances and special funds).

Funding squeeze: A council spokesperson said: "In real terms we are working to the Cosla planning assumption of a 12% real terms reduction in grant funding over the next three financial years."

Options for savings: The council expects to see a reduction in staff - there are already 121 fewer full time equivalents working for the authority. It said no school had been closed due to budgetary pressures in the last five years.

Angus Council said it anticipated charging for services currently provided free.

It explained: "Budget proposals are only now being considered, so it is too early to say, but the council must consider all possible options for balancing its budget in these unprecedented times."

SURVEY RESPONSE

PDF download Angus Council[9.25 KB]

Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader

The council is now saving money by dimming street lighting at night, but there are no current plans to switch off street lights.

In addition, there are no current plans to cut or reduce staff pay incrementals.

Lamppost costs hit road repairs

Projects fast-tracked for economy

CLACKMANNANSHIRE COUNCIL

Size: The population for the council area stood at 50,540 in 2009. The authority currently has 2,776 employees which equates to 2,255.1 full time equivalents.

Budget: General fund for 2010-11 is £137m (gross)

Funding squeeze: A council spokesperson said: "We anticipate a reduction of at least 12% in cash terms over the next three years, totalling £14m which equates to £4.6m each year for the next three years."

Options for savings: The council says that budget reductions will inevitably mean that it will employ fewer people. It is currently consulting on a proposal to combine two primary schools into one new school building.

Clackmannanshire will be reviewing its charges made for services on a "service-by-service" basis. It has no current plans to reduce bin collections, turn off street lights or cutting the roads maintenance budget.

In a statement the council added: "Clackmannanshire Council already has an ambitious and effective change programme under way and is considering a wide range of options to meet the expected cuts in funding.

"We will shortly be presenting initial broad proposals to stakeholders, so that their views can inform the detailed proposals needed to present a balanced budget for the next financial year.

"The scale of expected cuts means that serious consideration must be given to service changes."

SURVEY RESPONSE

PDF download Clackmannanshire Council[8.39 KB]

Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader

Shoppers in Clackmannanshire have been canvassed on how the council should spend its cash during two "budget engagement events" held in supermarkets.

The council said its aim was to help councillors understand the impact of cuts to services.

Shoppers to be quizzed on budget

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL

Size: The population of the city stood at 143,390 in 2009. The authority has 6,812 full-time posts.

Budget: Net revenue budget is £358.6m for 2010/11

Funding squeeze: A council spokesperson said: "We are currently developing a three year budget for 2011-2014 which will be informed by the outcome of the next three year spending review. It is too early at this stage to identify the real-terms impact over the next two years."

Options for savings: At the beginning of September, the council revealed that more than 450 of its employees had applied for redundancy.

The authority is aiming to save more than £30m from its budget over the next three years. Redundancy has been approved for just under a quarter of those who have asked to go, making a saving this year of £480,000. A further update on redundancy numbers will be given before the end of the financial year.

In a report to councillors in June this year, titled Finance Department Service Plan 2010-2012, the authority's finance director Marjory Stewart said "due to cuts in public sector finances there will be increasing pressure on the service to provide 'more-for-less' and this will be one of the most challenging aspects of the next few years".

She added: "The council requires to find £30m of savings over the next four years to balance the revenue budget. This will be a very difficult task particularly in 2011/12 and is likely to mean that difficult decisions will have to be made. The department sees as one of its key functions ensuring that the best information is made available to decision makers so that the options available and the choices made are as well informed as possible."

Council staff opt for redundancy

FALKIRK COUNCIL

Size: The population of the council area stood at 152,480 in 2009 and a total of 7,779 people are employed by the authority.

Budget: £311m for 2010/11.

Funding squeeze: Department directors have been asked to identify savings of £2.5m; the council wants to reduce employee costs amounting to £2m and review existing service charging and new charging amounting to £2m.

Options for savings: Rising costs and increased demand for services led Falkirk Council to announce that it would have to start charging for some social care services.

In practical terms, the cost for meals on wheels will rise from £1.70 to £2. The cost of day care, which is currently free, will become £23.90 and shopping delivery, also free at the moment, will become a £5 charge.

Council leader, Craig Martin, said the authority had to make some of its toughest decisions in setting its 2010/11 budget

He told residents in the council's newspaper that councillors were determined to protect vital services through making efficiencies and looking at new ways of delivering services.

Councillor Martin added: "We know that the services provided by Falkirk Council really matter to our communities and make a real difference to people's lives."

When the 2010/11 budget was approved at the beginning of this year, it was agreed that from April charges for school meals would go up by 10p in nurseries and 15p in primary and secondary schools.

It was also decided that crematorium and burial charges would go up; charges for sports and leisure facilities were increased by 15% and since August youth clubs and groups have been charged for the hire and use of secondary school facilities in line with charges for sports and leisure facilities.

Pest control charges were also subject to increases.

Council to introduce care charges

PERTH AND KINROSS COUNCIL

Size: The population of the council area stood at 145,910 in 2009 and the authority employs a total of 6,026 staff.

Budget: The total revenue budget for Perth and Kinross Council for 2010/2011 is £331m.

Funding squeeze: Plans are in the pipeline to make 12% cash savings over the next three years which would result in a savings target of about £38m by 2013/14.

Options for savings: The council has admitted that a reduction in services and a reduced workforce will be part of the drive towards future cost cutting.

The authority said it would minimise redundancy and hoped to cut staff levels by re-deployment, job re-design and through "management of vacancies".

Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, Councillor Ian Miller, said the challenges were not new or unexpected, but the scale of then were "unprecedented".

He added: "Essentially, we must do much more with much less.

"Projected budgetary cuts mean that Perth & Kinross Council may not be able to offer the current range, or level, of services in the future.

"Instead we will need to work with communities and partners to explore new and different ways of delivering some services.

SURVEY RESPONSE

PDF download Perth and Kinross Council[10.5 KB]

Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader

"This may mean redesigning services, exploring shared service options, reducing some services, looking at partnership arrangements with other public and private partners or reviewing and increasing charges for some services."

The council said there was still uncertainty ahead with many planning decisions being made "based on assumptions". It also said it was awaiting national decisions on issues such as pay agreements.

Mr Miller said Perth and Kinross would continue to deliver essential services and would have a large and committed workforce which was "an integral part of the community".

Council warning on service cuts

STIRLING COUNCIL

Size: The population of the council area stood at 88,740 in 2009. The authority has 3,700 full time equivalent staff.

Budget: £218m

Funding squeeze: Anticipated budget savings required over the next two years is £23m (£13m for first and £10m for second) This equates to 16% over two years in real terms.

Options for savings: The council says that staff reductions will be considered in all service areas. It added that all budget areas are being subject to "scrutiny and review".

Councillors will make a final decision in February next year on whether to close two schools, Inversnaid on Lochlomonside and Lochearnhead.

The authority will conduct an "formal consultation" over the futures of the primary schools.

A review of charges for services which are currently offered free by the council will be undertaken.

As a result of an organisational review in 2009/10 the council has reduced its management capacity with further savings expected due to the need to find additional "substantial savings to balance budgets over the next three years".

The authority reported earlier this year that all services were either within or close to budget with the exception of education, roads and social care. Education had made provision for certain bad debts arising from the Balfron High School operator, Jarvis, going into administration.

SURVEY RESPONSE

PDF download Stirling Council[6.50 KB]

Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader

Roads incurred "significant additional costs from the impact of the severe winter weather conditions", and social care "has managed to significantly pull back previously reported overspends in a number of areas".

The breakdown for each department is: Chief Executive Office - £363,000 underspend; Education - £124,000 overspend; Finance & Procurement - £133,000 underspend; Governance; Improvement & Customer Service - £467,000 underspend Service - £74,000 underspend; Planning, Regulation & Waste - £127,000 underspend; Roads, Transport & Open Space - £638,000 overspend; Social Care - £436,000 overspend.

Consultation over school closures

Primary schools 'facing closure'

In June, BBC Scotland news asked Scotland's 32 councils 11 questions ranging from how many staff they employed to whether they had to close schools and libraries due to spending cuts. About two-thirds responded over the following months. Of those that did not, a number explained they could not answer the questions until a fuller picture of budgets was known.

More on This Story

The Spending Review: Making It Clear

BBC Tayside & Central

Weather

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Features

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.