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Councils across Scotland are preparing to shed a possible 10,000 jobs as they struggle to set their budgets. (LGC m...
Councils across Scotland are preparing to shed a possible 10,000 jobs as they struggle to set their budgets. (LGC magazine, p6)

The figures emerged at a Convention of Scottish Local Authorities meeting in Edinburgh this week. COSLA president Keith Geddes said the meeting confirmed his worst fears for local government.

Mr Geddes said the settlement for Scotland would mean 'cuts in services, more job losses - and for the first time we are looking at compulsory redundancies - and increases in the council tax in the order of 13%'.

Fifteen authorities, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, have already informed the Department of Trade and Industry that they intend to make 5,100 redundancies.

Glasgow has given trade unions 90 days' notice that it plans at least 2,000 job losses as it attempts to shave£80 million from its budget. Education faces a possible£29m cut, prompting Glasgow teachers to vote to hold a ballot on industrial action.

The council has already trawled its education, social work, transport and property services departments for possible voluntary redundancies.

But news that Glasgow and the 11 other Strathclyde RC successor authorities may have inherited much bigger costs from the region than expected could add to the toll of job losses.

The bill, exacerbated by the winter weather emergency of12 months ago, could now be£40m instead of an expected£14m.

Mr Geddes attacked Scottish secretary Michael Forsyth, who was due to meet COSLA today, for cutting local government spending at the expense of local people.

'In the last year we have seen council tax rises and the increase and introduction of charges for services. I would challenge anyone to describe that as anything other than a retrograde step.'

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