SWITCHING off the street lights when it's dark, charging an extra £35 for emptying your brown bin and cutting the primary school day, are just some of the ideas to help Fife Council plug an £82.5 million funding gap.

Documents containing the options have been leaked to the Times after council officers were asked to draw up a list of potential savings.

Charging staff to park at work, axing grants for voluntary services and getting rid of a number of headteachers to try to balance the books will also be considered to meet the daunting financial challenge.

Smaller museums could close, there's a question mark over libraries and the desperation to save cash means they're even looking at scrapping the cleaning of schools on the four or five in-service days each year.

No decisions will be made until the budget is set in February and some proposals will prove unpalatable and will be rejected by councillors.

But savings have to be found and after years of making considerable cuts, there aren't any easy decisions left.

Ken Gourlay, head of service, said: “There’s no let-up in the financial challenge facing councils and all services are already planning ahead and have been asked to plan for future savings.

“As we do every year, we have to put forward savings options for political groups to consider before they publish their final proposals for a budget.

"All services are expected to put forward savings options and we are still discussing the implications of these.

"Some of them might not be what we'd like to do but at this stage we have to put every option on the table.

"Councillors will decide next year which, if any, of those potential savings they might want to take."

The figures are subject to change when the Scottish Government budget and local government settlement are announced next month but the council is planning for an "estimated funding gap of £82.5m" in the general fund revenue budget for 2020-23.

Job losses and a council tax rise are certain while cuts in services and reducing costs, income generation, 'commercialisation', greater use of technology and not filling existing vacancies are key themes across the directorates.

In education, officers have proposed cutting the number of primary school teachers by 25 by removing the need for non-class contact cover in Primary 1 and Primary 2.

This would shorten the primary school day by two-and-a-half hours a week for those year groups and "reduce the number of teachers required".

The "removal of a number of headteacher posts" with one head working across schools to "maximise the impact of excellent leaders" would also reduce management costs.

There could be an increase in music tuition fees, potentially up to £345, while standardising the secondary school week "at 1,600 minutes" – 26.5 hours – for pupils would allow the harmonisation of timetables with other local schools and colleges.

The enterprise and environment directorate have suggested an annual garden waste collection charge of £35 per household, with officers admitting this would "likely be unpopular to begin with", and bin collections moving to a seven-day service.

Assisted collection charges – currently a free service for elderly and disabled people who cannot put their bins out – would apply to those who do not meet 'eligibility criteria'.

Switching off the streetlights when it's dark, in industrial estates, rural locations and main routes with a limited number of properties, would cut energy charges, reduce maintenance and repair costs.

The council trialled this idea in November 2008 but have consistently rejected leaving Fifers in the dark, although studies have shown that switching off the lights does not lead to more crime or traffic accidents.

Introducing charges in staff car parks – the council previously ruled this out – and stopping rail concessions for over-60s would also be unpopular.

There could be less street-cleaning, removal of 'frontline staff' in grounds maintenance, a drive to increase the quantity of school meals sold in primary schools and the end of grants for voluntary services and Fife Shopmobility Ltd.

There's a suggested £100 a year charge for using the dial-a-ride service and a £100 charge for the provision of disabled parking bays in residential areas, but the possible removal of subsidised bus services for pupils who pay a fare, as they are not entitled to free school transport, would likely be met with "objections from parent groups".

In the communities and neighbourhood directorate, there could be reduced provision for sports development, physical activity, community projects and countryside access, less money for anti-poverty initiatives and the removal of funding for credit union development.

A suggested review of libraries, seeking to reduce costs, may lead to more integrated facilities and "fewer standalone libraries" while there are proposals to reduce the number of smaller museums and possible changes to opening hours at sports centres and golf courses.

The finance and corporate services directorate said most of their proposed savings over the next three years "relate to reductions in staffing".

Jobs in business support have already halved, from 800 to 400 over the last five years, and the aim is to cut a further 80 posts over the next three years.

Among the proposals are a reduction in clerical and admin support, a move from paper payslips to online payslips to save on printing costs and postage and changes in procurement.