GLASGOW City Council will need to make savings of about £103 million over the next two years as it faces “unprecedented” financial challenges, according to a report
The document prepared by officials at Scotland’s largest local authority reveals it expects to have to save about 7 per cent of its budget over 2016/17 and 2017/18.
The pressures that will be coming in the next two years go beyond anything we’ve had to deal with before.”Gordon Matheson
The council said it was developing a “transformation strategy” that would allow it to continue to deliver services with fewer staff.
It expects 3,000 staff to leave over the next two financial years, with savings coming from natural wastage rather than widespread voluntary redundancies or early retirements.
The local authority insisted that it remains committed to a policy of no compulsory redundancies.
Council leader councillor Gordon Matheson said: “The pressures that will be coming in the next two years go beyond anything we’ve had to deal with before.
“This will come from cuts to our grant, along with other unavoidable cost pressures such as wage inflation and the introduction of domestic food waste collection.
“Dealing with this may well involve difficult decisions but I am not prepared to consider cutting services unless far greater savings are made from operating the organisation more efficiently.
“I am also still committed to delivering all of our promises to the people of Glasgow - most importantly on tackling poverty and inequality while growing the city’s economy.
“Our experience of reforming our back office over the last five years, the evolving working relationships with our community planning partners and the levels of staff attrition give us confidence that we can meet this challenge.”
The report, to be considered by the council’s executive committee next Thursday, anticipates a “significant reduction” in resources across the council’s services and arm’s-length external organisations.
Savings of £56 million will have to be found in 2016/17 with a further £47 million in 2017/18, it said.
The council said the forecasts were likely to change in light of the local government settlement due to be announced by the Scottish Government in December.
The report added: “We expect reductions in central government grant to continue.”