Council bosses at East Ayrshire have revealed a council tax freeze, and £7.6 million management cuts in the upcoming budget.

Residents will not see any change in their council tax bills from April 1, if councillors approve the budget on Thursday.

A total of £2.6 million for new apprenticeships, training and mental health support for young people along with other community investments are also proposed.

The council aims to keep service fees and charges at the same rate as last year as part of its £359 million revenue budget.

Financial staff are not planning to dip into reserves to balance the books.

Councillors are set to vote on the financial plan on Thursday.

During a press briefing yesterday, Joe McLachlan, Interim Head of Finance and ICT, said: “When you recognise that next year we are going to freeze council tax and freeze fees and charges the council sets, then we will have a gap of around £7.65 million.

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"Colleagues across the council have been working to close that gap for many months through discussions with the unions, managers and staff and elected members. That gap is now closed I’m delighted to say.”

Mr McLachlan said 80 per cent of the cash shortfall was found through the redesign of services and deleting vacant jobs.

He said: “We have been careful when deleting those vacant posts. They weren’t deleted and then the work just falls on to other people. Part of that important redesign was also about reallocating the work and also taking away some of the work that doesn’t need to be done any more.”

Outsourcing and overtime is also to be reduced as part of the ‘management actions.’

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