A major decision on £140million budget cuts across Hampshire is expected today.
Members of the county council will meet today to decide on cost-cutting measures for the next two years after a range of proposals were voted through last month.
The plans include scrapping subsidised bus services and school crossing patrols, reducing staff at libraries as well as closing half of the county’s recycling and waste centres.
Council leader Roy Perry said: “It is important to note that any specific proposed service reductions would themselves need to have consultation so no immediate change is expected.
“We specifically asked officers to look at ways we might retain important front line services such as retaining household waste tips, community transport schemes and school crossing patrols.
“Conservative members are well aware how much these services are valued.
Last month, the county council said they are still looking for alternative plans up until February, when the budget will be formally passed and adopted, to lessen the impact of the cuts.
In response to potential alternatives, cabinet member and Liberal Democrat Alan Dowden said: “I understand that the money is a direct result of the current government and it is not just affecting our council, but at some point we have to say enough is enough.
“There is talk of utilising charity and volunteering groups as an alternative. Quite frankly how can that possibly happen when one of the proposals is cutting community transport that takes people to these very places?”
In October, Stephen Reid, cabinet member and Basingstoke South West councillor, said: “If we can find improved ways of getting to [the £140m savings] come February we will consider them, but at least we have a base point.”
The proposals would involve £120m cut from the budgets of the various council departments, with the other £20m coming from internal savings.
This comes after reduced funding from central government, inflation, and an increasing number of people who are relying on social care.
Council tax is also expected to rise by the maximum allowed without a referendum – 4.99 per cent – next year. The decision on this is expected in February.