Lancashire

Lancashire County Council plans job cuts and library closures

Lancashire County Council
Image caption County Councillor Jennifer Mein said "difficult decisions" had to be made

Hundreds of jobs could be axed at Lancashire County Council and museums and libraries shut amid "relentless" government cuts, the authority said.

Under plans to go before the cabinet next week, the equivalent of about 367 full time jobs would be cut and 40 libraries closed.

It is part of the council's bid to save £262m by April 2020.

Council leader Jennifer Mein said it was "the most challenging time" for local government.

She added: "We face a combination of relentless central government cuts and rising demand for our services, particularly those serving vulnerable people."

Proposals that will go before the Cabinet on 26 November include:

  • Removing funding for subsidised bus services
  • Reducing the county council's library network from 74 libraries to 34
  • Ending the funding of five museums - Queen Street Mill, Helmshore, Museum of Lancashire, Judges' Lodgings and Fleetwood Museum
  • Removing the subsidy for discretionary denominational transport

Since January 2014, 1100 people have left the authority, taking voluntary redundancy.

'Difficult decisions'

The proposed job losses are a part of the council's strategy to "balance the budget" by saving £65m over the next two years.

Mrs Mein said: "The scale of the challenge means that we will have to make even more difficult decisions. We will have to reduce or stop services and people will notice the difference."

Image copyright Lancashire County Museum Service
Image caption Judges' Lodgings Museum is listed as a fine Grade 1 building in the National Heritage List for England

Deputy leader David Borrow added: "The scale of the savings we have to make means that we will have to use almost all of that money just to balance to books.

"And we know that we will still face a shortfall of £56m in 2018/19."

More than 100 people have signed an online petition to save the Judges Lodgings Museum in Lancaster from potential closure.

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