MORE than 30 services are set to be hit by further cuts as County Hall bosses reveal plans to shave £55million from its budget.

County Cllr Geoff Driver, the leader of Lancashire County Council, said the authority's financial situation was 'extremely challenging' and the latest round of cuts had been found by a 'detailed line-by-line review of all service budgets'.

The proposals include slashing both the children's social care and the learning disability services by £2.7m each, while the fostering and residential services budget was also set to be cut by £800,000.

The latest cuts comes as County Hall bosses revealed a £10million subsidy paid to district councils to help with recycling collections was also being scrapped.

Councillors said residents were bracing themselves for a 'double hit' with many fearing the blow to the recycling budget could lead to less collections and therefore more flytipping and rats.

County Cllr David Whipp, who represents Pendle Rural, said: "It is a shocking and impossible situation."

The latest round of cuts were outlined as Lancashire County Council tries to find savings of £167million by 2021/22.

A council spokesman said the potential savings were not expected to have a negative impact on frontline services, as they would mainly come from efficiencies, recurrent underspends, income generation and service charges.

He added social worker numbers would not be reduced but the savings would make their jobs more efficient to concentrate on their more 'hands on' work and less administrative tasks.

Other cuts include: £500,000 from both the sexual health service and highways departments; £858,000 from the asset management budget; £755,000 from the older person's in-house residential services; £30,000 from outdoor education; £150,000 from the music service; £175,000 from the coroners service and £780,000 from the learning excellence programme.

Cllr Tony Greaves, the deputy leader of Pendle Council, said: “This is a hammer blow to people in Pendle and to Pendle Council which is already facing spending cuts of £3m to £4m in the next three years.

“This is a horrific situation in which decisions have to be made quickly.

“I am sorry to say that the county council has left the announcement to the last possible moment and landed us in it."

County Cllr Peter Britcliffe, who represents Oswaldtwistle, said: "As we all know from the last administration very tough decisions need to be taken.

"Obviously these proposals are not finalised yet but I am sure they will be discussed heavily and with great intent at the cabinet meeting next week.

"It's something that has not been taken lightly."

Scrapping the recycling subsidies would mean extra financial pressure on the borough councils across East Lancashire.

To maintain a similar recycling collection service to the one in operation Burnley Council would need to find £800,000, while Pendle would need £760,000; Hyndburn £652,000; Ribble Valley £430,000 and Rossendale £528,000.

County Cllr Whipp said: "Residents are already suffering under the Conservative government that is turning the screw to squeeze Pendle’s budget year after year, forcing the council to cut and cut its spending.

"And now we have the new Conservative county council stripping away its funding towards the refuse and recycling services that by law it is demanding from Pendle."

County Cllr Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of the county council, said the grants were given to councils to encourage more material to be recycled.

He said: "We agreed to help them by sharing the cost of bringing in the new collection systems.

"Many things have changed over the last 14 years, not least of which that district councils now have a statutory duty to provide recycling collections.

"On this basis, and with significant pressure on the county council's finances, we simply cannot continue to subsidise services that other councils are already duty-bound to provide."

However, drivers will have some good news as it is planned to spend £3m improving the county's roads.

County Cllr Driver said: "This detailed line-by-line review of all service budgets has identified significant savings and is a very helpful first step to putting the council's finances on an even keel.

"Clearly we will need to make more savings in the future and we are working very hard to look at how we can do that in a way that allows us to protect front-line services.

"Every council in the country has to make decisions about how it uses its resources and we are absolutely committed to funding those services that we know people value, by reopening libraries, investing in good quality roads and local environments, and supporting bus services."

The county council's cabinet will meet next week to consider the report.