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Council department facing axe

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By Abbey Morton
Annan and Eskdale
Council department facing axe

LEAKED information has revealed nearly a whole council department may be axed in a cost-cutting exercise.

Ahead of next week’s budget setting meeting, staff in the employability and skills services department were told on Tuesday that their roles may not exist for much longer.

As the local authority work to find savings of £14.7 million in 2019-20, one budget proposal features the decision to almost erase the department.

Information online explains the employability and skills services department works with local businesses and individuals to help with employment, training and further education.

Dumfries and Galloway Council was yesterday unwilling to reveal how many individuals work in the department and will be affected by the action.

But they provided a statement, which said: “The council will consider its budget on February 28 and political groups will release their budgets prior to this.

“Any staff affected by decisions made within the agreed budget will be fully supported through any processes which affect them.”

Responding to the leak, a statement from the council administration said: “In line with the budget process agreed at Full Council in 2018, our budget proposals on plugging the £14.7 million funding gap our council faces will be delivered to the Section 95 Officer today.

“We can confirm that our budget proposals will continue our no compulsory redundancy policy.”

However, an insider said the contracts of staff in the employability and skills department are due end soon and will not be renewed.

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