Council comes clean on cuts in Linlithgow

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Linlithgow residents have been told in no uncertain terms which key services will stay and go within a strict ten-year timeline.

West Lothian Council has stated that its Neighbourhood Environment Teams will be working in a very different financial landscape -and that job losses too are unavoidable.

And that’s simply because the service has to find revenue savings of nearly £2.8 million by 2022/23.

During the decade the service’s capital budget will be  £20 million – an average annual reduction of almost 50% in comparison with the previous five years.

It has been admitted that some savings will be achieved through staff reduction.

A further 39 full time equivalent jobs will also be cut - and that this will be in addition to the 20.91 jobs removed via vacant posts in 2018/19.

WLC has stated too that there will be a  noticeable difference in rural areas with a  reduction in maintenance  – and the number of enforcement officers will be cut back.

There will be cuts too to working patterns and overtime payments and a reduction in the number of council vehicles.

The focus will be on delivering a robust street cleansing service and the same level  of grass cutting, weed spraying and hedge cutting within town centres, residential and community amenity areas.

The council will continue to  issue fixed penalty notices for litter and dog fouling but the priority will change to focusing on improving prevention and promoting behavioural change. Play park safety inspections and reactive maintenance will continue.

The council will continue to investigate and work to prevent fly-tipping and abandoned vehicles, and remove fly-tipping and abandoned vehicles.

Executive councillor for the Environment, Linlithgow’s Tom Conn said: “We have to protect the services that matter most to our communities and look at other areas for potential changes and reductions in service.

“Given the level of budget reductions, the council can no longer afford to keep services as they are. Unfortunately the reality is that if savings don’t come out of one area, they have to come out of another as we must balance our budget.

“The impact of the suggested budget reductions within our NETs is set out in the paper and there’s no doubt that the overall service will have to be reduced. The council is looking to protect as many local services as it can and ensure that the resources we going forward focus on local priorities.”