CUTTING the number of councillors, ending the use of Gaelic or bilingual signs, and running a lottery are among the actions suggested by residents to help Argyll and Bute Council balance its finances.

The ideas were put forward among total of 1,399 responses received by the authority to a consultation on its budget, run from October to December.

More than 2,300 comments were given by the residents who responded, who included community councils, school parent councils and youth forums.

A report compiled on the findings of the consultation also found that the proposed savings options which received the highest number of objections included pupil support assistants, public conveniences, psychological services and school crossing patrols.

No figures were given for how many objections each received.

READ MORE: School support staff and crossing patrols under threat in council's savings plans

The findings of the report will be debated by the council’s policy and resources committee as part of its budgeting pack on Thursday, February 20.

All four of the options which attracted the highest level of opposition will be considered by the committee at this week’s meeting.

The document, by interim executive director Kirsty Flanagan, states: “This year’s consultation asked people to tell us about their priorities for the work of Argyll and Bute Council, and their views on a number of savings options.

“It was promoted in a variety of ways, from social media and website links, to email, in council customer service points, and via the Citizen’s Panel.

“People could give views on the council’s website, in printed copies available in libraries and council offices, through our Youth Services, and via our Citizens Panel.

READ MORE: Council's leader slams Scottish Government over Argyll and Bute 'funding cut'

“We received in total 1,399 responses from residents aged 11 to 75+ across Argyll and Bute, and from Community Councils, community groups, School Parent Councils and Youth Forums.”

As well as a reduction in councillors and senior and middle management staff, and stopping Gaelic and bilingual signs, a number of other possible savings were put forward by residents.

These included a reduction in travel and expenses, making better use of video conferencing facilities, and reducing the number of primary schools and transport to those schools.

A reduction in the level of services delivered, across a wide range of areas, was also mentioned by people who responded.

A lottery was one of the possible new sources of income suggested, along with a tourist tax, the sale of Oban Airport, and a congestion charge.

It was also suggested that the council could explore advertising or sponsorship, charge for the collection of garden waste, or increase charges such as council tax, commercial waste and planning officer time.

READ MORE: Catch up with all the latest Helensburgh and Lomond news headlines here