Falkirk Council tries to plug £46 million financial black hole

Every pound is a prisoner as far as local authorities across Scotland are concerned.
Every pound is a prisoner as far as local authorities across Scotland are concerned.

Falkirk Council has not ruled out compulsory redundancies as it bids to plug a massive black hole in its finances.

You could fill a book describing the impact of the cash saving initiatives proposed but some of the sweeping changes include:

*A total of 30 areas of education provision have been earmarked to save £6.9 million.

*Reducing the primary school week from its current 25 hours to 22.5 hours;
*Increasing the cost of school meals by 20 per cent over three years;
*Neighbourhood services has identified 24 areas where £2.9 million can be made;

*Start charging for Garden Aid provision;
*Closure of public convenience - but not in Bo’ness;
*Introduce charges for special uplifts of refuse;
*Discontinue use of glasshouse at Kinneil Estate nursery;
*Increase bereavement services charges:
*Social Work Services has scrutinised every aspect of service delivery and identified 17 areas where changes will save £2.9 million.
*In total, development services belives it can save £4.2 million.

*The introduction of car parking charges at rail stations – currently free – could bring in £130,000;
*A phased reduction in school crossing patrols could be introduced;
*Staff costs could be reduced by eight per cent;
*Transport planning could save nearly £2 million;
*Central Support services has estimated £1.3 million in savings over three years;
*The council could make £1 million in staff savings and will make changes to payroll and HR systems support, introduce a surcharge for use of credit cards to pay council bills.
With that far from little list, is it any wonder that Falkirk Council’s administration leader Craig Martin has had sleepless nights? It’s a shopping list none of us would like to consider.