Laura Sharman 05 December 2016

Thousands of council jobs at risk in Scotland

Scottish councils have been forced to cut 7,000 jobs in the past year due to £350m funding cuts, council chiefs have warned.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) also said that further cuts to local government funding next week will have ‘severe’ consequences for jobs across Scotland.

COSLA president, Cllr David O’Neill, said: ‘There were 7,000 job losses arising from the £350m cut to Scottish councils last year. A further reduction in budget of similar proportions, on an already reduced base, will have even more severe consequences for job losses in councils and have a wider knock on effect for jobs within communities.

‘We need to remember that services are delivered by these people – no people, no services to communities.

'The Scottish Government needs to remember that in many areas the council is the largest employer and therefore a cut in council jobs has a devastating knock on effect for people and local economies.’

Cllr O’Neill added that further funding cuts would force councils to ‘disproportionately’ reduce non-statutory services such as economic development.

Leader of Fife Council, cllr David Rose, said that if councils saw their budgets cut at a similar level to last year, it would result in 300 job losses at his council alone.

‘David O’Neill is right, the Scottish Government has to be made aware of the wider ramifications of yet another substantial cut in funding for local government – a cut to local government is a cut to jobs and economic development,’ he said.

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