Hampshire County Council set to lose staff and raid reserves

110688-3673  PROTEST WINCHESTER (AN) MRW 24/2/2011''Hampshire County Council Leader Ken Thornber leaves City Hall in Winchester where a full Hampshire County Council meeting was held '''Picture: Malcolm Wells (110688-3673)
110688-3673 PROTEST WINCHESTER (AN) MRW 24/2/2011''Hampshire County Council Leader Ken Thornber leaves City Hall in Winchester where a full Hampshire County Council meeting was held '''Picture: Malcolm Wells (110688-3673)
HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

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HAMPSHIRE County Council will dip into its savings this year – but is still axing around 230 jobs.

As it looks to save £45m during the next financial year, because of government cuts in funding, the council is trying to safeguard child protection and services for the most vulnerable people.

An extra £11.5m is being provided for older people’s care and services, the council has promised there will be no cutbacks in core roads maintenance, and council tax will be frozen for the third year in a row.

But alongside a recruitment freeze and an efficiency programme which has seen council departments merge, the council is using its capital and one-off reserves to ease pressure by meeting some other costs – such as extra care housing, helping older people maintain their independence and improving Hampshire’s roads.

Council leader, Cllr Ken Thornber, said: ‘Although we’re in a better position than many other councils, reducing our costs further will neither be easy, or painless.

‘This year we will see further staff reductions, but hopefully on a lesser scale with around 230 full-time equivalents currently predicted.’

The county council will meet on February 23 when the budget will be set.