Dorset County Council reveals £4m further budget cuts

A council has revealed an extra £4m will be cut from its budget after government spending was slashed.

Dorset County Council is now poised to save £54.9m over the next three years, instead of £48.6m already planned following the Spending Review.

About 500 jobs are already under threat at the Conservative-run council as it attempts to make savings.

Officials at County Hall in Dorchester said the bulk of cuts would come during the 2011/12 financial year.

The council said over the next financial year it would need to save £31.1m.

In December it announced savings could come from replacing council-controlled school lollipop patrols with volunteers and closing libraries.

Chief financial officer Paul Kent said funding at the council was "bleaker" than expected.

Mr Kent said: "Although the 'spending power' calculation has some merit as an attempt to focus on more than just the change in grant, it still is an incomplete view of the overall movement in resources available to the county council and it takes no account at all of the spending pressures faced by the authority."

Detailed proposals are set to go before the council cabinet on 2 February before final recommendations are debated on 17 February.

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