Mark Whitehead 18 November 2015

Portsmouth warns of 100 job cuts

Residents of Portsmouth have backed a rise in council tax to help protect services as part proposals which will also see 100 job cuts at the council.

The city council says its proposed budget aims to safeguard as many services as possible despite tough financial challenges.

About 2,500 residents, council staff and businesses responded to a survey asking which services should be protected.

More than 80% backed a council tax increase currently set at 2% and due to be finally decided in February.

The proposed budget includes £11m of savings in the next financial year.

The council says it has already made £75m of savings over the last five years and needs to find a further £31m in the three years from 2016/17 out of £125m of the spend it controls.

In the survey a majority of respondents backed cuts including funding for community centres, sexual health services and bus companies.

Council leader Donna Jones said meals on wheels services, heating subsidies for older people and city centre road cleaning would be protected.

'No one wants to make cuts to services but in today's very tough financial climate, we're faced with extremely difficult decisions,' she said.

'I've looked at every response and, wherever possible, we've tried to make proposals in line with the feedback from local people.'

The council estimates 100 jobs will be cut, a third of which are already vacant.

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