Significant numbers of staff will lose their jobs as Angus Council looks to dramatically increase the speed and depth of its cuts.
A bombshell report which will be considered by councillors today warns that the local authority has to urgently begin “redesigning, reducing and stopping services”.
The cash-strapped council faces having to find more than £30m of savings in the next three years.
There is now no doubt that this will lead to job losses. A recent Accounts Commission report criticised the relatively slow pace of change in Angus compared to other councils.
Some “business as usual” activities will have to be stopped so that staff can focus on transforming the services.
Councillors will today be asked to approve extending the role played by consultant EY in helping them achieve savings.
Since August 2014 the firm has been paid £467,000 and have been instrumental in identifying £3.8m in cuts.
It is proposed the firm conducts an investigation to find at least £15m of savings in the next three years, with options to increase the level of cuts to between £25m and £30m over the same period. The company would be paid at least £400,000 and on a “no win/no fee” basis, capped at £1.1m, depending on the savings implemented.
The report, prepared by strategic director (resources) Mark Armstrong makes it clear that the cuts will include job losses, though a number is not specified.
It states: “Delivering the savings of the magnitude required will also demand fundamental changes to the way in which the council operates.
“To be clear, this includes urgency in re-designing, reducing and stopping services.
“This will include significant reductions in the numbers of staff employed by the council, for example, those undertaking business processes that can be automated through the digital redesign of services.
“Harnessing the drive, support and, crucially, the expertise of the council’s strategic partner EY to support the identification and implementation of such significant transformation, provides the council with the best possible opportunity to increase the pace and scale of the Transforming Angus programme to deliver the value of savings required.”
EY is requesting that Angus Council to provide a dedicated organisational development team to support services being redesigned, staff redeployed or removed from the council and engagement with unions and staff.
A new subcommittee of the council’s policy and resources committee will be established with full delegated powers to approve new projects and make any necessary ancillary decisions.
This would replace the existing Transforming Angus Board and will consist of six members, three administration and three non-administration councillors.
The report states that the financial challenges being faced by the council are “unprecedented in their scale” and that unpopular and difficult decisions are now unavoidable.
It warns: “Public expectations will not be met and there will be service changes and reductions in staff across all areas of the council.”