Consultation coming as council looks to save £73.3 million

A MAJOR public consultation on budget savings is to be launched by North Lanarkshire Council this week.

The council has to save an estimated £73.3million between 2013 and 2016.

However, beginning in October, residents will be asked their views on a package of options worth £105.7 million.

Councillors will consider the financial outlook, savings options and consultation plan at a meeting of the policy and resources committee on Thursday.

No decisions will be made at that meeting but the committee will be asked to approve the consultation.

Chief executive Gavin Whitefield said: “If approved by the policy and resources committee next week, the council will embark on a massive consultation exercise.

“The council’s management team have developed a package of savings options totalling more than £105 million. Our financial forecasts indicate that we will be required to save £73.3 million over the course of financial years 2013-14, 20124-15 and 2015-16.

“I would emphasise that the package of options does not represent decisions, proposals or plans. I recognise that many of the options are extremely unpalatable but we have a duty to balance our budget.

“When the consultation period begins at the start of October I would urge everyone to have their say on these options.”

The options will see a reduction of up to 1,387 jobs.

For details of some of the options being considered see this week’s Times & Speaker