ALMOST 250 Argyll and Bute Council staff will be transferred to a new employer if plans to set up a new charitable trust are approved next week.

Members of the authority’s community services committee will be asked to approve the creation of a trust to run the area's leisure and library services when they meet in Lochgilphead on Monday, November 21.

A total of 247 council staff will see their employment transferred under TUPE regulations to the new trust if the recommendation is approved.

A business case for the move, prepared by accountants Ernst & Young, predicts that the creation of a charitable trust will save the council around £636,000 a year, though it estimates a management fee, which the council would pay to the trust, of £5.716 million in the first year.

The creation of a charitable trust to run leisure and library services was agreed at the authority’s annual budget meeting in February as part of a package of council savings worth £10 million.

In a report on the proposal for this Monday's meeting, Ann-Marie Knowles, the council's acting executive director of community services, says: The full business case for the creation of a charitable trust to deliver library and leisure services in the area offers a transformational opportunity to deliver quality services, enhance customer focus and deliver savings without any negative impact on frontline services."