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Hampshire County Council approves £93m of cuts to services
HAMPSHIRE County Council has today approved £93m of cuts to services by April 2015.
The council agreed to Tory chiefs' plans to slice 12 per cent off each departments budget over the next two years, with librarians, neighbourhood wardens and lollipop patrols counting the cost.
They will also spend more than ever before on roads, particularly in the wake of huge floods, with £36m allocated over the next three years.
Around 277 full time posts will be slashed under the plans as the county authority tries to save £43m.
But as many as 1,000 more could go next year with the council looking to save £50m more.
Leader Roy Perry said the council had been forced to reassess its priorities after a 43 per cent reduction in government grants, third highest in the South East.
He said: "It's time to recognise that we need to focus on services where we are the sole provider like children's services and the elderly.
"We need to find more economically efficient ways of providing these services."
He added: "We will find strategies within schemes and programmes that will see us continue in these austere and difficult times and continue to provide good seiches and not take easy steps like raising council tax and using our reserves."
The authority's council tax precept was frozen for the fourth year in a row with a typical Band D home paying £1,037.
Almost £150m will be spent on providing more school places for children over the next decade while £5.7m has been earmarked for improving county parks.
Some services like Accredited Community Safety Officers have been axed Lib Dem leader Keith house criticised the plans as "salami slicing".
He said: "There is a different way of addressing our need to save by investment rather than simply cutting, and avoid salami slicing departments year after year.
"We have seen over the past four of five years running it is not a sustainable way forward."
But a Lib Dem amendment proposing spending £30m more on roads, £200,000 on flood defences and removing cuts to public transport, libraries and careers for disabled children was rejected.