Mark Whitehead 24 August 2015

All staff at Argyll and Bute Council to be offered voluntary redundancy

Argyll and Bute Council is to invite all staff to consider applying for redundancy in a bid to save up to £26m over the next five years.

The only exceptions are teachers and social workers registered with the Scottish Social Services Council who will not be able to apply.

The plan was endorsed by the council's policy and resources committee in Lochgilphead last week and letters will go out to staff next month.

A report by Douglas Hendry, executive director of community services, says it is expected that the council will have to cut its budget by between £21.7m and £26m over five years with an anticipated reduction in the next two years of between £15.7m and £18.4m.

The report states: 'Inevitably jobs will be affected and given the council's redundancy policy gives a commitment to avoid compulsory redundancies as far as possible, it is recommended that a letter is sent to council employees asking them to express an interest in voluntary redundancy.'

In a similar exercise five years ago more than 900 staff expressed an interest in accepting redundancy.

The report says the council is facing 'a substantial gap in its budget over the next five years which will inevitably have an impact on job numbers' and it is expected most of the savings will need to be made in the next two years.

It says the council has a redundancy policy which aims to mitigate the number of compulsory redundancies through managing redeployment and voluntary redundancies.

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