Page last updated at 19:44 GMT, Monday, 4 January 2010

Job and service cuts at council

More than 600 jobs will be lost and services cut back under Leicestershire County Council's proposals to try to save £66m over the next four years.

Officials said service reductions and higher fees were "inevitable" as the council struggled to balance the books.

Road repairs and school bus services will be reduced, libraries and museums will see their opening hours slashed.

Subsidies for the Adult Learning Service and Arts in Education will be removed.

Officials said about 650 of the council's 6,000 posts will be axed, though they have pledged to minimise compulsory redundancies.

It is inevitable that people will see a reduction in some services and higher charges
David Parsons, council leader

The cost of home care services will rise by 50%, meals on wheels by 10% and day care centres by £20 per day.

The council hopes to save another £47m with efficiency savings and increased charges.

Officials said it needs to invest an extra £46m to meet demand in adult social care and waste management.

The ruling Conservatives still plan to honour an election pledge to freeze council tax next year.

Council leader David Parsons said: "We have been very honest in setting out the size of the problems we face, due to government debt, the recession and increased demand for adult social care and waste services.

"We have also lost £117m of government grant over the last five years, compared with the average.

"We've worked hard to find as many efficiency savings as possible and will continue to do so, but it is inevitable that people will see a reduction in some services and higher charges."

The proposals will be considered by the full council on 24 February.

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