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NORTH LANARKSHIRE RESCUE PLAN TO SAVE DLO JOBS

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The Scottish Office is to be asked to consider a new rescue package from North Lanarkshire Council which could save...
The Scottish Office is to be asked to consider a new rescue package from North Lanarkshire Council which could save all the 1,400 jobs in the authority's troubled direct labour organistation.

The Scotsman (p6) also reports that Donald Dewar, the Scottish secretary, is to be asked to amend his directive ordering the closure of the DLO by 1 May next year.

The new plan, drawn up by the council's cross-party liaison group, effectively replaces a plan submitted to the local government minister, Henry McLeish, last month which would have meant the loss of 600 jobs and the sale of a third of the DLO's maintenance contracts to the private sector.

The new plan envisages the existing structure remaining more or less intact but being managed by a private management group hired from the commercial sector.

Richard Lyle, leader of the council's SNP grouping and a member of the liaison committee, said: 'What we want is meaningful discussions with the Scottish Office. We have only been allowed to meet them once. Our proposal is to bring in a commercial management team to run the DLO. That way the council will be in a partnership operation.'

A Scottish Office spokesman said: 'North Lanarkshire put two options to us and we... plan to give a response in weeks rather than months.'

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