Council will 'run out of money in three years'

A new report has warned that Lancashire County Council will run out of money within three years.

A review into the authority's finances predicts its reserves will be gone by April 2019 with a deficit of almost £400 million by 2021, with councillors warning that, even with planned cuts, it was not ‘currently financially viable’.

Earlier this month the authority confirmed it was going ahead with the closure of 28 libraries and 31 children's centres as part of £200 million of cuts it needs to make by 2020. The council has also increased council tax by four per cent.

Jennifer Mein, Lancashire County Council leader, said: “We have got to look at further ways to save money or increase our income. We are eating into our reserves now... it won't be long before they are gone.

We need to be able to increase our income and need the government to recognise the need here in Lancashire is very, very great and possibly more great than other parts of the country."

A statement by the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "The government has provided a long-term funding settlement which will give Lancashire County Council £2.9 billion to spend between now and 2020. This will allow them to deliver high quality services whilst keeping council tax bills down."

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