More cuts loom at Hampshire County Council

Romsey Advertiser: County council leader Roy Perry County council leader Roy Perry

LOLLIPOP patrols, librarians and road workers face the chop as details of £93 million of Hampshire County Council cuts begin to emerge.

Under plans that could see more than 1,000 job losses, services will be hacked back yet again as county bosses bid to shave off 12 per cent from their budget.

As previously reported, Hampshire County Council is trying to save millions of pounds after the Government shrivelled its council grant by 40 per cent over three years.

The true nature of the cuts is now coming to light as the budgets for culture and recreation and environment and transport were revealed.

More libraries will be expected to shed staff for volunteers, including Milford-on-Sea. If no one comes forward branches will be closed and residents will have to make do with a weekly mobile library stop.

Yet mobile library vehicles could be reduced from five to three across the county and the number of stops from 350 to 250.

Street lighting may be dimmed or switched off to save cash while £3.4 million could be cut from road maintenance, at a time when the roads are littered with thousands of potholes.

Lollipop patrols could be scrapped in quieter areas and funding removed for police patrolling 30mph village speed limits.

While council tax will be frozen, council leader Roy Perry said it was inevitable some services needed to be reduced. He said: “The fact remains that with less money and fewer staff we can’t afford to deliver them in the same way.”

The budget will be agreed at full council on February 20.

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