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Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Friday, 18 June 2010 16:34 UK

Cuts bite into frontline services

Ian Paul
Ian Paul
Editor, Politics Show South

Up to 3000 public sector jobs could be lost in the south in the next five years

According to the government, frontline services will be protected from the effects of spending cuts.

But that rather depends on your definition of frontline.

Many of the cuts announced in the last few weeks are a long way from the "back office" services they were billed as.

Many are to things that most of us would call frontline - day centres, jobs programmes, education. Real changes to real services.

Cuts to services

The list of what will go is pretty long - and one thing that is certain is that this is not exhaustive. There will be more to come in the budget next week.

The long-running saga of the Stonehenge visitor centre may have reached its conclusion this week, as the government announced it was withdrawing the £25m it had been intending to pump into the scheme.

The Future Jobs Fund, which helped young people get into work, has also been axed.

In Berkshire, 22 day centres may close, and if not then the people using them could find themselves paying more - a lot more.

The council plans to means test all the users, and anyone with savings of more than £14,000 will be charged.

In the case of one carer who spoke to the Politics Show, all of this will mean the cost of the service to him and his wife going up from £25 a week to £80 a week.

Cuts to jobs

One thing is certain - along with the cuts to services there will be job losses.

At least 3055 public sector jobs are predicted to go in the South by 2015.

Bournemouth's parks are a big tourist attraction for the town. The parks staff have won awards at the Chelsea Flower Show.

But those accolades have not saved them from the chop - 28 jobs are going.

It is easy to forget, in all the talk of millions and billions of pounds to be cut, that most of those pounds will have a direct effect on someone's life, either as the loss of a service or the loss of their job.

Everyone is just beginning to put real faces onto these figures.

Join Peter Henley on The Politics Show South live on Sundays.

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