Plans for a National Care Service could be an “absolute disaster” for East Renfrewshire, it is claimed.

Under the Scottish Government’s proposals, a series of care boards would be set up to run social care services, rather than local councils – a move which would make Ministers directly responsible.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), which represents the country’s 32 councils, has warned the plans risk “destabilising” council workforces as staff are transferred to the new care boards.

East Renfrewshire Council’s official response to the proposals, submitted in October last year, said funding granted to local authorities for health and social care should be increased and services should remain “locally-led.”

Now a new report by council officials has revealed that, while the full budget implications are not yet known, East Renfrewshire’s budget could be reduced by almost a quarter.

Conservative councillors have expressed serious concerns about the plans.

Speaking during a debate on the matter, Councillor Paul Edlin said: “Most of you will not have been around in the 1960s, like myself, when we remember a Labour government having an economic policy of centralisation, which was a disaster.

“This centralisation plan for a National Care Service would be an absolute disaster for this council. Through the IJB (Integration Joint Board), we do a fantastic job of the services we provide.

“To centralise it, taking money away from the council, is a recipe for disaster.

“We really must realise and understand how bad it would be for the residents of this area, where there is an elderly population who need that service, which is provided so well by the council at the moment.”

Councillor Andrew Morrison, also of the Conservatives, said local residents and care service users, as well as the council’s workforce, must be consulted “every step of the way” as the plans progress.

He added: “This has echoes of the centralisation of the police and fire service. It starts off with good intentions but it doesn’t work out that way.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has said the new National Care Service is “the most ambitious reform of public services since the creation of the NHS” and would drive up standards, improving conditions for staff and service users.