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More council buget cuts next year....


gafynandrew
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I wondered what people think about the graduate placement scheme. I listened to the depressing news on radio Shetland the other night about the huge amount of savings that have to be found, then the next item on was about the graduate placement scheme. They are looking to employ 7? (I think) post graduates throughout the SIC over the next year. One will be looking into the decline in Shetland cattle. I'm sure the irony of this will not be lost on the cattle breeders who asked the SIC for financial help in buying a herd of Shetland Kye from the Scottish Government last year and were refused assistance.

 

The graduates will each be paid over 19 thousand pounds salary. The retention rate is 30%. But will this matter if there are no jobs available? Maybe savings could be made here?

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Some interesting comments in the media over the past couple of days regarding the further reaching implications of the ocuts.

 

There is definitely a validity to the fact that whatever savings are found due to reductions in the wage bill is effectively taking that money, or a very high percentage of it, directly out of the local economy. Thus affecting local businesses, further jobs, putting prices up etc etc.

 

Of course there is no question the savings need to be made and the council has to live within it's means, but I can't help but wonder if the timeframe is simply too short and is going to have long term negative effects far outweighing the short term good looking bottom line.

 

Shetland has borrowed from its reserves for decades to get into this mess. Would it not be sensible to some of these for another couple or so years to lessen the blow to the islands as a whole rather than face a possible mini-depression of our own?

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Would it not be sensible to some of these for another couple or so years to lessen the blow to the islands as a whole rather than face a possible mini-depression of our own?

 

Personally I think the council have already had these extra couple of years (I'd suggest probably 5 years actually), it's only now that the council finally have someone with the balls to push these cuts through.

 

I've pointed out before that 1 in 3 folk in employment in Shetland work directly for the council, there's not enough new money coming into the isles through the private sector, this can't be sustainable given the current economics.

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^^ Definitely. Lets not forget the restructuring that appears to be eventually happening now is pretty much what Morgan Goodlad proposed when he first gained the town hall!

 

With the way the council seems to act I think its's better to get it over in a short sharp shock, rather than give them time to think twice, dither and fail to cut anything worthwhile.

 

Also very true and something not lost on me as I was writing my post above.

 

A truly understanding, forward looking council (members and officers alike) would be able to formulate and then stick to a slower, less damaging, strategy. Currently, sadly, we can't trust that any decision won't be overturned at the drop of a hat, be it long or short term.

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A truly understanding, forward looking council (members and officers alike) would be able to formulate and then stick to a slower, less damaging, strategy.

 

Exactly! And if a former Council had been able to bite the bullet sooner, there would probably be a lot less need for such swingeing cuts now.

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It's the erosion of the reserve fund that worries me.

 

Contrary to popular opinion, our oil reserves are sustainable. However this is the case only if members use it wisely. Unfortunately members are spending significantly more than the reserves earn on the stockmarket/interest. This will result in significant cuts in the future.

 

Take for example the most recent figures. The councillors spent from the reserves £8m more than was made through investment. That £8m return could have returned £600,000 for the Council on the stockmarket/interest. That's £600,000/year less spending for future generations forever!

 

Sure using the reserves now may mean we don't feel the full effect of the cut backs. But my gosh it stores up significant cuts for the future generation and the loss of our funding advantage over other authorities.

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Guest SJP17

One thing i cant understand is why did they buy new tugs for sullom , there was nothing wrong with the old ones and with the tanker traffic declining what was the need ?

 

maybe someone can shed some light on this ?

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Some interesting comments in the media over the past couple of days regarding the further reaching implications of the cuts.

 

There is definitely a validity to the fact that whatever savings are found due to reductions in the wage bill is effectively taking that money, or a very high percentage of it, directly out of the local economy. Thus affecting local businesses, further jobs, putting prices up etc etc.

 

Spinner72 I totally agree with you.

 

I think there is a high percentage of people out there who have an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude thinking they won't be affected by the staff cuts and haven't seen the bigger picture yet.

 

It might be wrong that the local economy very much depends on the SIC spending, but it's a fact.

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Spinner72 I totally agree with you.

 

I think there is a high percentage of people out there who have an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude thinking they won't be affected by the staff cuts and haven't seen the bigger picture yet.

 

It might be wrong that the local economy very much depends on the SIC spending, but it's a fact.

 

It's also a fact that if the council decides that it wants to carry on propping up the local economy in the way that it has, it's going to have to dip even more into the reserves - at this rate until they are frittered away entirely. If we don't want that to happen, it has to stop at some point.

 

The belt tightening exercise that we've only seen the start of is going to hurt everyone to some extent and whilst I don't want to see anybody lose their jobs either directly or indirectly as a result of council cuts, it isn't there to provide services and infrastrucure solely to keep folk in work or support local businesses.

 

I might feel more comfortable if the reserves were going to be raided to plug a funding gap as a one off, but the way things are looking the financial situation isn't going to improve in the short term. Like it or not, we are all going to have to start doing more for ourselves, face up to how good we've had it up til now and wean ourselves off the cash cow that the council has been for the last 30 or so years.

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I heard that the figures given in the management reorganisation showed about 2800 full time equivalent posts in the council, with 2000 of them in Education & Social Care......

 

It'd seem from that that significant job cuts would either be a fair hit on a politically difficult area, or a huge hit on other areas?

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I heard that the figures given in the management reorganisation showed about 2800 full time equivalent posts in the council, with 2000 of them in Education & Social Care......

 

It'd seem from that that significant job cuts would either be a fair hit on a politically difficult area, or a huge hit on other areas?

 

Is the 2,800 post the restructure? It was reported as 3,800 full time post in 2009.

 

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/Apps2/Business/PQA/default.aspx?pq=S3W-20360

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