COUNCIL bosses are paving the way for a merger of roads departments in Inverclyde with those in East and West Dunbartonshire.

Proposals have been drawn up to share services among the three local authorities to help save money.

Under the plans, the headquarters would be in Inverclyde, with Greenock Municipal Buildings bosses leading a combined roads department.

There is no indication that the move would lead to any job losses.

The merger is designed to help the three local authorities save money on things like consultancy fees and on purchasing materials by joining forces to buy in-bulk.

An Inverclyde Council spokesman said: “Scottish councils are exploring options for shared roads and transportation services.

“Business planning consistently shows that councils can be more resilient and more cost-effective through this approach. 

“Three councils, Inverclyde, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire have been working together to develop shared services.

“A business case has now been prepared for a shared roads service.

“This proposes Inverclyde as the ‘lead authority’.”

All three councils face multi-million pound funding gaps in the coming years.

In Inverclyde alone the local authority has to plug a £13m black hole between now and 2020.

Pooling resources to try and save money has become more widespread in recent years as councils across the country try to balance the books.

The spokesman for Inverclyde Council says talks are ongoing about sharing other services.

He said: “Under the proposed plan, a single manager would be appointed to manage roads services in the three councils.

“Inverclyde, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire councils are planning to take proposals to each of their council meetings in December. Subject to that approval, the issue will be considered by the shared services joint committee in January next year.

“Consideration is being given to wider shared services but only roads are being recommended to be taken forward at this stage.”

Depute provost David Wilson says it makes perfect sense for councils to join forces.

Councillor Wilson said: “Where we gain is in terms of the management - we would be the lead council on it.

“As far as I’m aware there will be no job losses among the operatives.

“What it will save on is consultancy fees, there’s a lot of consultancy on the go, and combined buying power for Tarmac and so on.

“The population is expecting to see more shared services.”