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Senior staff told to go

The Western Isles Council has sacked seven senior officials, including two from the education department, but the council insists it is not a money-saving exercise.

The education officers losing their jobs are Richard Woolford, an assistant director of education, and Norman Maclean, the principal community education officer. Their departure will save the council Pounds 67,396 in salaries and other costs out of total savings from the seven posts of just over Pounds 300,000.

A council spokesman said: "This is not a cost-cutting exercise but reflects a change in direction for the council to emphasise economic development and leisure services."

Ten new posts are being created, including an assistant director of leisure services who will be based in the education department. The net saving will be just Pounds 22,000.

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