Councils warn job cuts to follow Spending Review

Lancashire County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council have both announced plans to generate significant savings by losing staff.

Lancashire County Council has warned that 367 full-time jobs will be cut, in addition to the 1,100 staff who are already on voluntary redundancy, in order to save £65 million.

Councillor 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.”

In addition to job cuts, the proposed action will involve 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 £2.8 million.

The council added that even with these predicted savings, it still faces a funding gap of nearly £200 million by 2020, so will face further difficult decisions in the future.

Similarly, Brighton & Hove City Council has warned 540 full-time posts could be axed in a bid to save £68 million over four years. The planned cuts also include service redesign, stripping out middle management and improving efficiency.

Councillor 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.”