Voluntary severance deals for staff working for the fire service in the Lothian and Borders area have cost the taxpayer nearly £400,000.
The service’s board has already approved the release of 14 non-uniformed members of staff, and recently gave approval for another deal.
It takes the total cost of the deals up to £372,000, although fire chiefs say that the reduction in staff numbers will also bring £333,000 of efficiency savings in 2011/12 and future years.
In a report to councillors, chief fire officer Jimmy Campbell said: “The treasurer has been consulted in terms of the release of this staff member and is content that the costs are affordable.”
The voluntary service/early release scheme is part of a wider savings drive across the service.
It has been estimated that Lothian and Borders will have to make savings of up to £5 million between 2011 and 2014 to cope with restricted government budgets.