A COUNCIL tax hike of nearly five per cent and a swathe of cuts to services and jobs have been outlined by Municipal Buildings bosses in a bleak budget consultation.

Closing community centres, axing teachers and community wardens, closing public loos, reduced opening hours for libraries and limiting free swimming to school holidays are all being considered by officials as they look to make ends meet.

The options are part of a budget consultation which lists no fewer than 35 potential savings and cuts to services.

The number of jobs under threat on the options list totals over 80, covering almost every department.

The exercise will run until November 30 and local residents are also being asked for their views on how big the increase in council tax should be next year - 1.5 per cent, three per cent or 4.5 per cent.

The biggest increase of the three would yield an extra £1.3m for the coffers.

Council chief executive Aubrey Fawcett said: “Our services have developed a range of proposals to help balance the budget which requires to be set by March 2020.

“It is important that where services could be reduced or changed, that we hear the views of the community and the people who use these services.

“Public finances are continually under pressure and, while the upcoming election and the ongoing Brexit situation continues to throw uncertainty across the country, the council needs to ensure it is ready for any eventuality.

"That is why we have created these proposals and why we are launching a budget consultation, to hear from the community.

“While no budget cut is ever going to be wholly welcomed, it is important to note that the council aims to protect and continue to deliver its core services.

"For example, a saving to teacher numbers included in this consultation aims to reduce spending but still protect the core curriculum for pupils.

"Or, a reduction in opening hours in libraries aims to ensure that there are no library closures.

“If you have a view on any or all of the proposals, please take the time to log onto our budget simulator and let us know your views on whether these should be taken or not.”

People can give their views by filling out a budget simulator online at https://inverclyde.budgetsimulator.com which t lists savings totalling more than £4m and invites residents to ‘balance the budget’ by selecting a preferred set of savings totalling £2.5m.



Reducing under 19 sports grants and grants to voluntary organisations (£85,000)

Closure of community centres (£46,000)

Community learning and development budget reduction (£123,000)

New £1 charge for under 16 swimming (£40,000)

Free swimming only available during school holidays (£100,000)

Reduce Inverclyde Leisure Trust management fee (£242,000)

Playschemes subsidy removed (£52,000)

Reduce funding for self-managed community centres (£78,000)

Reduction in library services (£246,000)

Reduction in school music services (£103,000)

Community hall waivers (£35,000)

Reduction in teaching staff (£552,000)

Removal of additional free fruit for primary schools (£15,000)

Closure of Glenbrae out of school care (£32,000)

Reduce the number of education psychology staff (£69,000)

Reduction in homelink workers in schools (£113,000)

Reduction in classroom assistants in schools (£200,000)

Stopping publication of InView - the council's residents newspaper (£7,000)

Reduction in benefits and council tax processing staff (£102,000)

Reduction in customer service centre and registration services staff (£100,000)

Reduction in community warden staff (£211,000)

CCTV - reduction in monitoring hours (£68,000)

Increase of charities’ waste charges to 100 per cent of regular trade rates (£24,000)

Reduction in the burial grounds and cremation service (£89,000)

Reduction in frontline grounds maintenance budget (£238,000)

Reduction in frontline street sweeping budget (£243,000)

Reduce frequency of food waste collection service (£104,000)

Closure of four public toilets (£47,000)

New and increased road service charges (£62,000)

Reduction in employability activities (£100,000)

Further reduction in employability activities (£275,000)

Reduction in support workers for fieldwork services (£91,000)

Reduction of long term care placements for older people and adults (£235,000)

Increase charging for community alarms (£20,000)

Introduction of charges for older people’s day services (£55,000).