Up to 700 jobs to go at County Hall

Latest news from the Harborough Mail
Latest news from the Harborough Mail

Up to 700 jobs could go at Leicestershire County Council as the authority looks to cut £110m from its budget over the next four years.

The authority’s financial proposals are set to hit museum and library services in the Harborough district.

The Tory-run council’s plans revealed this week include cuts to funding at Harborough Museum as well as others across the county, including Snibston Discovery Museum at Coalville.

And it is proposing to ask parish councils or volunteers to run village libraries, which could be closed if nobody is found to take them on.

More community-led services, reduced grants to voluntary groups and changes to highways maintenance are among the other cuts proposed.

The £110m figure equates to a reduction of one third on the budget.

The opposition Liberal Democrat group has been critical of the library proposals.

County Hall says the proposals have been guided by a budget consultation held last summer during which 7,200 people had their say.

The council’s deputy leader and finance spokesman Byron Rhodes warned that people would notice major changes in services.

He added: “We have to save £110 million due to reduced Government grant.

“At the same time, we have increased demand for certain services such as adult social care.

“Our savings have been guided by the consultation results but, given the scale of the challenge, we can’t spare all the services that people wanted to see protected.

“We have to concentrate on caring for the most vulnerable and that means saving money from other services, which have to take a lower priority.”

The council’s ruling Tory cabinet will consider the initial proposals on Wednesday, before they are considered in detail by the council’s scrutiny committees.

It will then finalise its proposals on February 4, before the full council takes a final decision on February 19.

People are urged to comment on the proposals at www.leics.gov.uk/budget