William Eichler 17 November 2015

County to cut hundreds of jobs in plans to save £65m

Lancashire County Council’s plans to save £65m in the next two years will result in the loss of 367 jobs.

The council has already lost 1,100 staff to voluntary redundancies since January 2014, but, warns Cllr Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council: ‘Regrettably, I'm also no longer confident we can reduce our workforce as much as we need to on a purely voluntary basis.’

The proposals follow the announcement in August that the council will need to save an additional £262m by April 2020 to tackle a funding gap caused by reduced government funding and rising demand for services.

Lancashire’s cabinet will also consider a number of other efficiency savings this Thursday.

Subsidised bus services will lose all funding, which will save the council £7.5m per year. The county council's library network will be reduced from 74 libraries to 34, which will mean a £7m saving.

Five museums will also lose their funding and the subsidy for discretionary denominational transport will be removed.

The highways budget will also be reduced by £2.8m.

Deputy leader David Borrow, cabinet member with responsibility for finance, said: ‘It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of our financial situation. Prudent financial management has enabled the council to build up significant reserves that is money we can call on to cover unexpected events.

'The scale of the savings we have to make means that we will have to use almost all of that money just to balance the books. And we know that we will still face a shortfall of £56m in 2018/19.’

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