Hundreds more jobs face axe at County Hall

County Coun Jennifer Mein
County Coun Jennifer Mein
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County Hall bosses today revealed more than 360 full time jobs are poised to be axed as the council faces more funding cuts.

The job losses would be in addition to the 1100 staff who have already left the authority, having taken voluntary redundancy since January 2014.

County council bosses admitted the 367 job losses may involve compulsory redundancies.

County Coun Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “These are the most challenging times for local government in living memory as we face the combination of relentless central government cuts and rising demand for our services, particularly those serving vulnerable people.

“The reality of our financial situation is such that we will have to use the bulk of our reserves just to balance the budget over the next two years. And by 2017/18, we will only just have enough money to pay for our statutory services.

“At the same time, the Government has made clear that it will make further substantial cuts to council budgets over the coming years. This continues at a time when, as the population ages, demand on many services will increase so that we’d be facing financial pressures even if the budget wasn’t being reduced at all.

“The scale of the challenge means that we will have to make ever more difficult decisions. We will do all that we can, and are targeting our resources towards those with the greatest need, but we will have to reduce or stop services and people will notice the difference. Our priority will remain to protect the most vulnerable people in communities across Lancashire.

“Regrettably I’m also no longer confident we can reduce our workforce as much as we need to on a purely voluntary basis.”

Proposals that will go before the Cabinet on Thursday, November 26 include:

Removing funding for all subsidised bus services, to save £7.5m per year

Reducing the county council’s library network from 74 libraries to 34, to save c£7m

Ending the funding of five museums: Queen Street Mill, Helmshore, Museum of Lancashire, Judges’ Lodgings, Fleetwood Museum

Removing the subsidy for discretionary denominational transport

Reducing the Highways budget by £2.8m