North Lanarkshire Council claim to have axed the least popular ideas from £60million cuts

Protesters successfully saved the Iain Nicolson Centre
Protesters successfully saved the Iain Nicolson Centre

Savage council cutbacks totally more than £60million over three years have been made “in line” with feedback from residents and staff.

That was the conclusion last week of an independent report on the savings being made by North Lanarkshire Council over the next three years.

More than 3,000 individuals responded to the local authority’s largest ever consultation exercise with more than 14,000 individual pieces of information – part of ‘The Way Ahead’ project to make savings totalling £62.4million.

A similar scheme in East Dunbartonshire has seen £30million of cuts made.

Analysis of the decisions, made in February, shows that the council rejected 18 of the 20 most unpopular savings options.

They included closing the Iain Nicolson Centre, which led to a series of protests from Chryston residents.

Cash-saving plans to close the Chilterns Care Home, in Muirhead, also proved unpopular and were abandoned.

Instead, the council accepted 17 of the 20 most popular options, including ceasing the £15 Christmas gift to older people and decreasing the number of garden waste collections from 18 to 16.

Councillor Jim McCabe, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “We were absolutely clear from the outset that we would take people’s view into account and we tried to do that where possible. That’s why I’m pleased to see this analysis of the savings as it proves the value of consultation.

“We were faced with extremely difficult decisions to make savings due to a reduction in the money we receive from Government. We didn’t create the financial problems, but we had to deal with them, and deal with them responsibly. I believe our budget was a sensible one based on the views of our residents and protecting services delivered to the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

The full report is at www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk