Public service job cuts planned

17-04-2005

Details have emerged of the Scottish Executive's plan to shed about 800 jobs as part of the �745m efficiency drive launched last year.

Most of them will be in NHS support services, largely because of the introduction of more computers.

Posts will also go in the fire service, Scottish Natural Heritage, Caledonian MacBrayne and the Forestry Commission.

The changes will be implemented over 2007-8 when 1,051 posts will go and 265 new positions will be created.

Offered redeployment

The plans were revealed in technical notes published during the Easter holidays.

An executive spokeswoman said the losses would be achieved through redeployment and natural wastage.

She stressed that so far only one redundancy - at Caledonian MacBrayne - had been identified. All other staff would be offered redeployment.

The executive confirmed the proposals would lead to the axing of 604 jobs in the NHS and 65 posts through reform of EU Common Agricultural Policy.

The technical notes suggest 45 jobs could go at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, while 36 may be shed at Scottish Natural Heritage.

Reforms to fire service control rooms could also lead to the loss of 128 jobs over a two-year period.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) may lose 25 jobs, while 20 may be cut in the Forestry Commission, 14 in the Scottish Public Pensions Agency and up to 25 at VisitScotland.

Sepa denied that it had plans to make any staff redundant.

Chief executive Campbell Gemmell said: "Sepa's workload continues to expand and our staffing increases accordingly to ensure that we can fulfil our responsibilities.

"Sepa is committed to meeting the objectives of the Scottish Executive's Efficient Government initiative.

"By changing what we do and how we do it, we aim to produce savings that are important for providing the public and regulated operators with value for money."

BBC News

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