Bolton Council braces for 240 job cuts

Bolton Council is set lose around 240 jobs as the authority attempts to make a saving of £12.5 million as part of wider budget cuts.

Cabinet members backed the two-year plan which will also see the council borrow cash reserves for the first time. The authority is set to allocate £30 million from its reserves to prevent it from making further cuts.

Borough treasurer Sue Johnson said it was the ‘right time’ to dip into the council coffers to tide the budget process over.

However, David Greenhalgh, leader of the Conservative group, who has called for the use of reserves to mitigate savings in the past, questioned the timing of the plan: "When we have suggested this before, we were told that it is just delaying a saving that needs to be made in the future.

"Now it is going to be used to help 'cash flow' - what has changed in a year?"

Nick Peel, councillor of the labour-run authority, said it was the sixth time the council has had to set harsh budgets against a backdrop of massive cuts.

He said if it does not dip into its reserves, the authority would ‘simply not be able to run the vital services’.