HYNDBURN Council is facing a £2.4million cash crisis – and bosses have urged staff and rival councillors to help solve the problem.

The council said that a reduction in Government public spending would hit them hard, as well as a potential drop in funding because the authority faced losing a concessionary fares scheme.

Coun Peter Britcliffe said savings of 15 per cent would need to be found over the next two years in a bid to avoid huge debts.

He said: “There is nothing to be cheerful about in the economic outlook in the North of England and we are now entering a three year period when government spending is to be dramatically cut.

“There is now far less money to go around and there seems to be a very black future ahead for us.

“Just in the next financial year we must make £1million of savings and I am calling on all councillors and staff to unite and come forward with ideas to cut costs and keep council tax low.

“Over the next four weeks it is vital that we all join together to find the cost reductions that the people of Hyndburn need.”

And he ordered all 'non-essential' spending at the council to stop until the end of the financial year in a bid to save further cash.

Next year the council has a budget of £18million to spend on capital projects.

Cuts have been proposed including £72,000 by vacancy management savings, £100,000 by improving risk management and other moves including cutting back on overtime hours and mileage allowances.

Coun Britcliffe said: “I call on other parties to make their suggestions and they will all be considered carefully and seriously.”