Axe threat to 700 jobs as council tackles its £90m deficit

SEVEN hundred jobs could be lost at a council as it warned that "difficult choices" were ahead.

Last year, Renfrewshire Council shed 300 jobs, and yesterday leaders of the local authority said that another 700 could go by next March – 10 per cent of its non-teaching workforce.

The job losses were revealed in a report setting out how the council is planning to deal with its funding gap, which it says could rise to as much as 90 million over the next three years.

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Renfrewshire Council chiefs are to review the charges they make for services, and will also consider if some services could be delivered by either the private or independent sector.

The council, where the SNP is in power with the Liberal Democrats, stressed that it would do everything possible to ensure the job losses were achieved through voluntary redundancy and early retirement.

It will also look at offering workers the possibility of working fewer hours.

Council leader Derek Mackay said: "We are setting out in detail some of the ways in which the council is looking at reducing costs and making changes, so we can focus the reduced resources we will have on essential services.

"Even in these difficult times we are maintaining our commitment to delivering a multi-million-pound investment in community and sports facilities, schools and council housing."

But, he said, all councils had to face radical changes, "not just in the way we finance services, but on how those services are delivered and by whom".

The report on the council's financial outlook and workforce planning will be considered at a meeting on Thursday.

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