LANCASHIRE County Council bosses will be given a list of ‘nasty’ cuts, including scrapping rural bus subsidies and closing far-flung libraries when they meet tomorrow.

Officials will tell the authority’s ruling Labour Cabinet that making it harder for the elderly and disabled to qualify for home care and support packages and scrapping the youth service may be needed to close a £15 million gap that has opened up in its budget cuts proposals.


Deputy leader and finance boss David Borrow admits he and his colleagues may have little choice but to agree most of the package of service reductions.

Already the cabinet has agreed many cuts in a bid to meet government targets to save £300 million by 2017.

They include axing 2,500 staff, including 157 highly-paid senior posts.

County treasurer Gill Kilpatrick has now told Mr Borrow the gap between the savings needed and those forecast for the initial proposals has widened from £161.5 million to £176.5 million Now her officials are working up a full list of possible cuts for tomorrow’s meeting affecting a wide range of services across the county’s 12 boroughs, including Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley, Rossendale and Chorley.

Coun Borrow said: “I have asked the treasurer to give us a full list of possible service cuts for the cabinet meeting. We will be looking at nasty cuts that I did not come into politics to make.

“We will be looking at all the non-statutory services — those we are not required to do by law.

“Some councils do not provide a youth service. We have never closed a library, but that too is a non-statutory service.

“There is no legal obligation to subsidise rural bus services. Cumbria County Council has axed them. We will have look at increasing the barriers to claim care packages for the elderly and disabled to the statutory levels. Our rules are more generous than those required by law.”

The cabinet meeting is likely to confirm existing proposals to remove free travel for pupils to religious denominational schools that are further than the nearest one.