Opposition councillors have raised concerns over plans to get high-flat caretakers to deal with anti-social behaviour.

Council papers revealed an £81,000 underspend for tackling the blight on residents and credited vacant posts awaiting a “service restructure”.

The changes are meant to save £57,528 in each of the next three years, with “-2” staff as a result.

Labour Councillor Gail Casey asked at West Dunbartonshire Council’s meeting last week if the local authority was getting more people or fewer.

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Peter Barry, the council’s strategic lead for housing and employability, insisted they take anti-social behaviour seriously and were working with police and the unions to get more people working in the early evenings.

He added: “We have no intention of reducing this very important service”.

But when pressed on so-called management adjustments - cuts by council bosses they insist won’t reduce services - Mr Barry said caretakers can take on some anti-social behaviour duties.

He said: “We are not asking them to take on specific tasks - we’re asking them to be more flexible. Positive discussions are underway.”

Labour Councillor Danny Lennie, who pointed out he was the only elected member living in high-flats, said: “I’m extremely concerned about the news about caretakers taking over some element of anti-social behaviour.

“This could turn very bad very quickly. I’m extremely concerned we are putting our caretakers at risk. Are trade unions happy to be put in this position?”

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Mr Barry again said they needed to move towards a flexible service but there was no effort to expose staff to risk.

He said duties might include removing certain flytipped items which could be fire hazards.

Cllr Lennie said staff already do a brilliant job, including picking up fire risks.

“They are the eyes and ears of the council and do it regularly.”

The council’s chief executive, Joyce White, said: “There will continue to be dialogue with the unions.”

The 2018/19 budget saw cut £60,000 paid to police for an anti-social behaviour out-of-hours service.