Details of drastic cuts being considered by East Renfrewshire Council as it tries to meet a £30million funding shortfall have been revealed.

Council chiefs have warned that tackling the massive budget black hole will have a major impact on frontline services, with as many as 550 jobs at risk over the next three years.

Among the money-saving options on the table is a reduction in refuse collections, with grey, blue and green bins only being emptied once every four weeks, rather than every three weeks.

Brown bin collections, which include food and garden waste, could be switched to every fortnight, with an increase in the annual £20 charge.

Also being considered is the closure of Barrhead’s recycling centre, as well as all grass football pitches.

There could also be increases in burial charges – already among the highest in Scotland – while the price of school meals could rise by 20p.

Council bosses will consult with staff and trade unions over the next five months as details of cutbacks, including any job losses, are finalised.

The cuts are due to a reduction in cash from the Scottish Government, which funds the majority of council services, and a rise in inflation and the likes of energy costs.

Only 18% of cash available to the local authority comes from council tax.

Around £20m of the planned £30m worth of savings could come from cuts in schools and nurseries.

Options being considered include reducing the school week at primaries from 25 hours to 22.5 hours.

There could also be less funding for under-achieving pupils and those with additional needs, as well as a reduction in the number of classroom assistants, janitors, library staff, caterers and cleaners.

School crossing patrols could also be cut back.

Further savings are planned by reducing money spent on repairing potholes and gritting roads.

There are also plans for more residential parking schemes and charges to use council car parks.

In addition, cuts could be made in customer services, leading to increased waiting times for complaints and queries to be dealt with.

A council spokesperson told the Barrhead News: “Like all councils, we are facing unprecedented financial challenges in the years ahead.

“It is expected we will have a £30million budget gap over the next three years and a range of difficult decisions will need to be made, including considering cutting services and jobs.

“All savings proposals put forward at this stage are options and councillors will not set the final budget until March 1, 2023.”