Aberdeenshire Council will have to cut posts to claw back a £27 million budget shortfall – and will do “everything in their power” to avoid compulsory redundancies.
The council’s leader, Conservative Councillor Jim Gifford, made the comments as the council voted to increase council tax by 3% yesterday.
It was also announced that funding will be cut from some bus routes and waste collection.
It comes after the council revealed it had £565m in its revenue budget for 2019/20 – £27m less than its planned expenditure.
In his speech, Mr Gifford said: “I expect to see further vacancy management, or by re-designing services and retraining employees to take on new roles.
“We do not want to make anyone compulsorily redundant and will do everything in our power to avoid this – but we must be realistic, in order to cover the pay award, I struggle to see how there won’t be an impact on our workforce.”
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Previously, the council speculated that around 150 posts could be cut and Mr Gifford said there should be opportunities for people already working within the council to switch to other roles within the local authority.
Mr Gifford added at today’s meeting: “This has been a really difficult budget to work through and there are savings suggested that no one wanted to even consider, far less accept, but we have to balance the budget and we have done that.”
The Conservatives’ motion, to increase council tax by 3%, won the vote.
The SNP also put forward a proposal to raise council tax by 3%, but with different cuts and different investments to the Conservative plan.
The Democratic Independent and Green Group put forward a plan to increase council tax by more than 4% and make no cuts, but that received just three votes.