Local council to increase tax by 3% and axe 600 jobs

Angus House, HQ for Angus Council

Angus Council’s budget, drawn up to address an £18 million shortfall, paves the way for a 3% increase in council tax, the loss of up to 600 jobs in the next three years and the introduction of parking charges on October 1.

It was passed unanimously yesterday without an alternative put up by the opposition SNP group.

However, concerns about the impact on teacher numbers and school staff, as well as the future of local recycling centres, were highlighted.

Council leader Bob Myles told the Forfar meeting that, as a councillor since 1999, this had been the most difficult budget to achieve.

“Our grant from the Scottish Government has been seriously cut and as that provides about 80% of our income, it puts severe pressure on our staff to achieve a balanced budget and still retain the services our public have come to expect,” he said.

“There will be pressures on the council and there are savings put forward today I would rather not have had to do.

“We heard from teachers’ representatives how reductions may affect the education of our children – we are making every effort to ensure that does not happen.”

Carnoustie independent councillor David Cheape said he found it “unbelievable” that school secretary posts are to be removed and also hit out against cuts to pupil support staff.

Mark Armstrong, the authority’s strategic director of resources, said the roles were being removed as their budgets had been underutilised, but added the situation would be monitored.