Western Isles Council set savings target

WESTERN Isles Council is to make savings of nearly £24 million over the next four years, councillors heard yesterday.

The authority heard officials are bracing themselves for real reductions in funding over the next three-year settlement and beyond.

At present, the council estimates it will face a funding gap of 5-6m a year for the next four years.

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It is already seeking savings to deal with a 5.5m shortfall for the coming year. Of that total, 2m will come from efficiency savings, with cuts to services likely to meet the balance.

With staff accounting for around half of all its expenditure, the authority is also consulting with unions to discuss possible early retirements and reductions in hours.