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Edinburgh council proposes slashing budget by £41m with up to 300 jobs set to go

Up to 300 jobs could be cut from Edinburgh City Council as it announces “an unprecedented level of cuts to services” in a bid to cut £41m from next year’s budget.

Museums, public toilets, and residential care could all be cut in a raft of money-saving measures after the Scottish capital’s council published its draft budget proposals for 2019-20.

Closing up to 300 job posts is part Edinburgh’s bid to make an additional £13m saving after the council announced in September that it faced a £30m budget deficit, which reached £106m over the next four years.

The council said it must prepare for the “significant financial challenges” over the coming years and now projects a deficit of almost £150m by 2022-23, stating that the recent Scottish Government’s draft budget settlement has left it needing further savings.

The draft proposals will need to be approved by councillors at a finance and resources committee meeting on 1 February, and will then go to the council’s budget meeting on 21 February where a final decision on the savings will be made.

Edinburgh City Council’s leader Adam McVey said: “As we grapple with the additional demands on our services, we face significant financial challenges and are faced with some tough decisions as a result.

“But that doesn’t mean we’ve lost our ambition for our capital city – or indeed our commitment to protect those services that we know our most vulnerable residents rely upon.”

The council’s proposed four-year change strategy focuses on delivering sustainable public services, and includes significant investment in school construction, city roads, the city centre, and new council homes or refurbing existing homes.

Depute leader Cammy Day added: “The reality is that our draft financial settlement from the Scottish Government is worse than we expected and we need to make an unprecedented level of cuts to our services.

“The only way to do this is by prioritising our front-line services, generating greater income, and setting a fair, balanced budget which promotes inclusivity and protects the most vulnerable in society.”

Day called on the Scottish Government to properly resource the needs of local government and added that residents should respond to the proposals and give feedback ahead of the budget meeting on 21 February.


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