A SHAKE up in the way that Fife Council delivers services will result in job losses.

The joint administration have estimated that £25 million of savings could be made by a change in policy that will see the local authority become as streamlined as possible.

It is unknown how many jobs will be axed, they've said they will be seeking voluntary rather than compulsory redundancies, but the cuts are coming and will be made over a long period of time.

The ‘Change to Deliver’ programme will include improving online services and making better use of community buildings by putting services under one roof.

Fife Council’s Labour co-leader, Councillor David Ross, said: “Obviously the council is under severe financial pressure and we believe there should be more money for our public services, but we have to be prepared for cuts.

“We think it’s better to manage these staff and service changes over time.

“There are preventive measures we can make such as keeping people in their home instead of hospital and providing more online customer contact.

"The more changes we can do like this, the less impact there will be on frontline services."

He continued: “In terms of job losses, we will be seeking voluntary redundancy, early retirement and redeployment as much as we can.”

The programme which will be rolled out in the coming months was drawn out of a public consultation called ‘Plan for Fife’.

Cllr Ross said: “It gave us time to discuss things with a number of community organisations as well as receiving comments from individuals. More than 80 per cent of respondents agreed with the overall approach of the plan and I’m delighted that the focus on building a fairer Fife was strongly endorsed.

“However, this won’t be the end of public conversation – in fact, it’s just the start. One of the key themes of the Plan for Fife is working with communities on an ongoing basis to improve and change services.

“We’ve got to be ambitious for Fife but we’re also realistic. And there’s no doubt that sustaining public services, and targeting inequality in the way we want to, will be extremely difficult given the financial challenges across the public sector.”

Procurement will see the biggest shake up with £16m of savings expected to be seen by reducing the council’s third party spend.

David Alexander, SNP co-leader of Fife Council, said: “On top of the efficiency savings the council’s been making for years, there have also been some significant change programmes internally that have saved well over £30million since 2010."

He added: “We are at the bottom of the food chain in terms of government spending, but we still have to provide a service. Jobs cuts have not been compulsory so far and we believe we can continue that.

“We are getting better at efficiency, but we are still receiving reductions in budget while there is an increase in demand.”

Lib Dem leader Tim Brett said: “We are becoming more efficient, but we want to increase this. I was happy to see development of our online systems, but they need major improvement to be up to the standard of commercial websites such as Amazon.

“We do need to remember that many elderly people won’t deal with the council online and there still needs to be assistance for them.

“However, even if we do make these savings in the background to protect frontline services, it still won’t be enough.”