Laura Sharman 27 November 2015

Councils announce ‘heartbreaking’ job cuts

Two councils have warned of job and service cuts, following the spending review earlier this week.

Lancashire County Council has approved plans to save £65m over the next two years, which will see the loss of 367 full-time jobs, in addition to the 1,100 staff who have already left on voluntary redundancy since 2014.

Cllr Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: ‘The decisions we have taken today are heartbreaking but reflect the unprecedented financial situation we face.

‘I didn't come into politics to cut services but years of relentless central government cuts combined with a rising demand for our services mean we have to find huge savings.’

The proposals include reducing the county’s library network from 74 to 34 libraries, removing funding for all subsidised bus services and five museums, and reducing the highways budget by £2.8m.

The council warned that despite the savings, it still faced a funding gap of nearly £200m by 2020, so faced even harder decisions in the future.

Under plans to save £68m over four years, Brighton & Hove City Council has also warned 540 full-time posts could be axed. The proposed measures also include service redesign, stripping out middle management and improving efficiency.

Cllr Les Hamilton, lead member with responsibility for finance and resources, said: ‘By proposing a four-year budget plan, we are looking to put services in the strongest position to be able to deliver in the long term. We are changing how we do our business, coordinating our health and social care budgets with our partners and looking to our residents and communities to work with us.

‘There’s no doubt that we will have to stop non-statutory services if funding cannot be found.’

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