PROPOSALS which will hit a number of services used by Hampshire residents and could put hundreds of jobs at risk have moved a step closer.

Executive members at Hampshire County Council have agreed that the proposals which would allow the authority to save £80m by 2021 can now be discussed by cabinet members at a meeting set to take place next month.

As reported,  223 jobs could be lost, some care homes and libraries could be closed, residents could be charged for services that are currently free and council tax could be increased by 4% as county bosses try to balance the books.

The proposals were discussed by several committees at the council council this week.

As reported, £43.1m could come from changes and reductions in services provided by the adult social care and public health departments, with 120 jobs being at risk in the social care sector.

The proposals for the two departments were discussed by county councillors for hours on Monday.

Then, some members of the health and social care select committee said more details should be provided before the proposals would make any step forward.

Council officers stressed that the  plans are a “direction of travel” and further details are yet to be determined.

But in an official document the county council said the cuts will challenge the department “like never before and it is inevitable that there will be impacts on front-line services”.

Among the plans that councillors discussed this week were also proposals for street lights to be switched off for longer at night.

There were also talks on the reduction in one-to-one or two-to-one support for people with a learning disability.

Further proposals could be for residents across the county to be charged to dispose of non-household wood waste such as fence panels and sheds.

Another plan could be to asked people to pay for parking at countryside sites across the county where it is currently free.

Officers said that further consultations on money saving proposals are expected to take place between November 2019 and next summer.

The county council said that authority will try to redeploy staff where possible and would ensure “appropriate consultation with staff and trade unions”. 

Cllr Keith Mans, council leader, said the authority must receive “the right level of financial support, on an ongoing and consistent basis, from Government”. 

The proposals will be discussed by cabinet members next month and by full council in November.