Jobs to go as county seeks £55m saving

People told not to be alarmed by armed police officers on patrol

HAMPSHIRE County Council will be axing jobs under plans to save around £55m in 2011/12.

The authority says it will save around 7.9m by reducing the number of senior management staff, putting a recruitment freeze in place, and will save around 10m by renegotiating the contracts of some existing staff.

The council says it put the plans in place in anticipation of its grant from the Government being cut by 30.9m.

The council said it would try and minimize compulsory redundancies by offering voluntary redundancy, pay freezes and cutting travel allowances.

It said it had identified a way to streamline itself, identifying potentially 52.3m of savings.

Council leader Ken Thornber said: 'There can be no debate over whether or not we make cuts, the withdrawal of government funding to meet the national debt leaves us without that choice.

'The issue is how we face up to these financial challenges, while laying strong foundations for the difficult years beyond.'

The budget is due to be agreed by full council on 24 February.