ALMOST 400 jobs could go at one of Scotland’s largest local authorities as council bosses seek to plug a £125 million black hole.

Aberdeen City Council has announced it is to shed 230 full-time posts in an attempt to cut costs, while 140 roles that are currently vacant will not be filled in future.

The job cuts, together with the “dis-establishment” of vacant posts, is expected to results in £10.378m in savings by next year.

It is hoped all job losses will be voluntary and there will be no compulsory redundancies. The council currently employs approximately 8,500 staff.

Councillors have also embarked on a restructuring process, which has been named the Target Operating Model. Members of the committee approved the job cuts plan as one of several recommendations in a report on the migration to the committee during discussions last Friday.

Angela Scott, chief executive of Aberdeen City Council, said: “We are committed to managing the reduction in posts in as sensitive and understanding way as we can.

“As opportunities for change are identified, primarily as a result of teams coming together in the functional structure and highlighting duplication, employees will be involved through both engagement and consultation.

“This morning we met trade union representatives to outline the consultation process and we will continue to work with the workforce to shape the future of the council.”

She added: “It is important to note there will continue to be opportunities to fill vacancies for posts at the heart of the Target Operating Model, many of which will appeal to existing Aberdeen City Council employees keen to utilise existing skills or to explore options for retraining.”

The local authority, which is the lowest-funded council in Scotland, is seeking to make a £125m reduction in its annual spending by 2022/23.

Last year, the then-Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale suspended every Labour councillor in Aberdeen after they ignored orders to abandon a power-sharing deal with the Conservatives.

The local authority is reported to owe more than £850m to the Treasury, and its debts are predicted to rise to more than £1bn next year.

Work will be carried out this month to establish which roles are to be targeted, while new organisational structures being brought in during the transition to the Target Operating Model are expected to be put in place throughout March.

Tommy Campbell, Unite’s regional chief for Aberdeen, said the union was concerned about the impact the job cuts would have on council services and staff wellbeing and that it did not accept the level of job losses being proposed.

He said: “We are obviously concerned at the high number of potential job losses, and we will be asking for further information on the use of agency staff and high-paid consultants, who we believe are on £1,000 a day.

“If the council was to do away with their services there would be no need for in-house staff to leave.

“And, whatever the number of job cuts, services should not be affected and it will mean those who remain are being asked to do more with less, at a time when stress levels are already high.”