Council cuts see up to 270 jobs cut – 40 in social work

UP TO 270 Dumfries & Galloway Council posts will be axed during the current round of budget cuts. The positions will be lost through voluntary redundancies and early retirements.

The figure emerged during a detailed examination by the Standard of the local authority’s budget which was signed off by councillors last Thursday.

It sees a total of £8.4 million of savings, most of which will come from the education services department.

A series of measures including a reduction in teacher numbers will see 162 school jobs lost.

As part of the cutbacks 82 experienced teachers will be given early retirement in a scheme called Teacher Refresh. They will be replaced by 64 newly qualified teachers and another 15 probationary staff.

This pegs the net post reductions in education services at 83.

A large number of management posts will also be lost throughout the council including 40 in social work and 20 in planning and environment.

Trade unions have concerns about the effect that new workloads and changes to jobs will have on the remaining staff.

Yesterday, the council’s Labour group said the SNP and the Conservative-led administration chose to prioritise funding for a regional development post over classroom assistant jobs.

Their education spokesman Jeff Leaver said: “I am utterly disgusted with the outcome.”

Ivor Hyslop, the leader of the Tory-led administration said the budget would create 250 modern apprenticeships in a £5 million, five-year scheme.

He said: “In this budget we have focused on the things that really matter, youth unemployment and investment in our region’s roads and services network.”

SNP group leader Rob Davidson said: “The council has had to deal with reducing budgets for some time now and all parties, including the Labour Party, have had to agree substantial savings which no one would have chosen to take if funding levels had not fallen.

“Scotland’s overall budget has been cut by billions of pounds and the Scottish Government has done everything it can to maintain local government’s share of those diminishing resources.”