£9m saved as council cuts its cloth

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AN underspend of £9 million has been achieved by West Lothian Council following a range of cost-cutting measures.

A report to the chief executive showed savings had been secured through a range of programmes including a reduction in the number of council buildings, improved procurement practices, sharing services, flexible working, savings in business travel and also reduced costs resulting from a mild winter.

The total saving achieved over 2011-12 amounted to £9.152m.

John McGinty, leader of West Lothian Council, said: “I would like to congratulate officers on the modernisation programme which is clearly helping to reduce the council’s costs and has enabled the council to meet the commitment for the Council Tax Benefit.

“The savings also mean that more money can be prioritised to services so £55,000 will be used to support recycling through the introduction of an additional Brown Bin collection this year; an additional £234,000 will be made available to assist voluntary organisations in West Lothian, including measures to tackle youth unemployment.”