NEW plans to shed a huge 300 jobs and save a staggering £19 million have been drawn up by Inverclyde Council bosses.

The local authority faces the huge cash shortfall between April next year and March 2023, with officials desperately trying to find ways to plug the gap.

In the latest revenue budget update report, officials anticipate having £19m less to spend on the day-to-day running of the council as a result of continued cuts to funding from the Scottish Government.

A package of savings has now been drawn up, including shedding 300 full-time posts.

Increasing council tax by three per cent - the full amount currently permitted by the government - every 12 months over the three-year period would soften the blow, but £16m worth of savings would still be required.

The unrelenting local authority funding squeeze has prompted Inverclyde chief executive, Aubrey Fawcett, to write directly to staff to explain the situation ahead of an update to councillors on Tuesday about the current financial position.

Mr Fawcett said: "The options developed total just over £19m and 300 jobs, however, it is important to note not all the savings require to be taken in order to balance the budget over a three-year period. "At the moment, the expectation is that councils will receive a three-year budget settlement.

"Given the uncertainties around at the moment, if that changes or members are unable to deliver a three-year budget this would reduce the potential number of jobs affected."

The council has begun consulting with staff about voluntary redundancy following prior approval by members of the influential policy and resources committee.

Finer details of the £19m worth of cuts will be published at a later date and will be included as part of a public consultation exercise, which is scheduled to begin on October 22 if given the nod by councillors.

Council officials and the elected members' budget group - which includes representatives from all parties and independents - plus trade unions will all be involved in the savings process.

The local authority has already saved millions of pounds and shed hundreds of jobs in recent times, including in the current financial year, but the cash crisis shows no sign of letting up.

In his address to staff, Mr Fawcett said: "While we continue to work through very uncertain times, on behalf of the corporate management team, I would like to pass on our thanks and gratitude for the diligence and care you show in delivering essential services to and for the people of our area."