COUNCILLORS have been left in tears after trying to find £6 million of "almost catastrophic" cuts.

Faced with the prospect of slashing jobs and services ahead of Fife Council's budget meeting today (Thursday), and with council tax likely to rise by the maximum amount, tough decisions will have to be made to balance the books.

Members of the Labour group met to discuss the proposals and Cllr Mary Lockhart said: "There wasn't wailing and weeping but there were some eyes filling up with tears and a lot of passion because these people really care.

"In all levels of government, councillors are the ones that live in, and are part of, our communities and we're well aware what we're doing is impacting on people's lives so there's a huge emotional aspect to it too.

"Every day we see the impact, so when we're looking at all those numbers and cuts, nothing is taken lightly.

"Everything is 'How can we avoid that?' and 'How can we do the least damage?'. It's very upsetting."

Fife Council faces a £15.5m shortfall in the general fund revenue budget for 2020-21, which could rise to as much as £49.5m in 2022-23.

Raising the council tax by 4.84 per cent would bring in £7.9m and, after adjustments, the council needs to find around £6m of savings for the coming financial year.

Cllr Lockhart said: "Looking ahead, I just think the consequences are almost catastrophic with another year of these kind of cuts.

"As councillors, you want to make a difference and help make people's lives better whereas you know, because of the position we're in, what we're doing now is going to make it worse than it was before.

"That's where we're at and it's very dispiriting and draining.

"We're not at the stage of cutting services to the bone any more, we're into the marrow."