Lincolnshire County Council announces proposed service cuts

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LINCOLNSHIRE County Council announced today which of the services it provides are likely to be most affected by funding cuts over the next two years.

The cuts are needed because the Government has reduced the council’s main grant by £42.8 million over the next two years, which is 18 per cent, but instead of reducing all services by that percentage some areas will be protected.

These proposed cuts, which will be finalised in the new year, are likely to mean the loss of around 1,000 of the council’s 6,000 jobs over the next four years.

Leader of the council Martin Hill said the council anticipated the cuts and had already made efficiency savings, which included reducing senior management by 30 per cent, but service cuts were needed.

He said: “We could have chosen to take 18 per cent off everybody but this requires a more sophisticated, sensitive approach. But if one area is protected somewhere else has to compensate.”

Priority has been given to public safety issues, which are being largely protected from the cuts, such as safeguarding children, fire and rescue services, winter maintenance of roads, funding of community support officers and emergency planning.

Whereas areas such as youth services will be hit particularly hard if these recommendations are approved. The council will look to the community to play a more active roles in things like youth clubs.

Connexions, which helps young people with careers advice, is likely to lose its funding. Although the council expects a national scheme to be put in its place.

Rural bus routes are also likely to be impacted upon as the council withdraws its funding from less well used routes.

Children’s services will face heavy reductions and trading standards is expected to lose much of its funding.

Household waste recycling centres will reduce their opening hours and some may be closed completely.

The stage at which the council steps in to help with adult social care will be downgraded from moderate to substantial.

Mr Hill added: “Hopefully people will say that the services being cut were nice things to have but they would rather us protect the things that are very important.”