22 council jobs cut at budget meeting

Scottish Borders Council headquarters.
Scottish Borders Council headquarters.

It has emerged that 22 employees have been made redundant by Scottish Borders Council in this financial year.

The authority said the jobs, equivalent to 15.7 full time jobs, had already gone.

Nineteen staff came from the education and social work departments, two from a section which covers issues such as roads and the environment and one from the chief executive’s department.

The council said that in social work, the equivalent of 9.6 full time jobs had been lost - but would only disclose that they included roles such as day centre staff, cooks, and social care and kitchen assistants.

In education, the only information was that the equivalent of 3.8 full time jobs which had gone involved a community learning assistant and a caretaker.

It emerged earlier this week that Scottish Borders Council has set aside £99,000 from reserves to fund what it has described as “unplanned compulsory redundancies”.

The figure was announced in a report by the chief financial officer at Tuesday’s executive budget meeting, just weeks after the Independent, Lib Dem and SNP coalition pledged to avoid mandatory job losses.

Finance spokesman John Mitchell said the move followed reorganisations of the social work and education departments.

Mr Mitchell said: “There is a policy within the council that we do not make compulsory redundancies. However, at the end of the day, the council does reserve the right to make compulsory redundancies if all other avenues have been pursued by redeployment or whatever.”

He added: “Believe you me, we try exhaustively to avoid that in every circumstance.”

At a meeting to agree SBC’s budget on February 12, it was decided to cut 55 posts.