Lancashire County Council chiefs have set out plans for budget cuts of £179m over the next three years – but pledged to freeze its share of council tax for the second year running.
The budget savings proposals, which require approval by the authority’s Cabinet next month, include £71.6m of cuts in the 2011/12 financial year.
The cuts follow publication of the Local Government Finance Settlement on December 10, and are slightly lower than the £187m figure forecast back in November.
Some of the deepest savings include £7m in the next year in reduced social care fees, £2.5m through tightening access to adult social care and £1.85m in staff cuts including social workers and support officers.
Leader of the county council, Coun Geoff Driver said: "We want to be transparent about how we are going to lead the county council through this incredibly challenging period in its history.
"We are getting the county council ahead of most local authorities by identifying how we will achieve the required level of savings over three years and continue to deliver savings effectively.
"The Cabinet has already agreed that we will spend £133m less on management and administration over the next three years because we want to shield the frontline as much as we can.
"Where the savings do affect frontline services, in many cases they will be made possible by new and more efficient approaches.
"But there is no escaping we have to make some very tough decisions and our goal has been to ensure the proposal feels as fair as it can be in the context of having to make substantial savings."
But the county council’s Labour group has protested the government settlement as ‘unfair and destructive’.
A group statement read: "The group believe that the government is not doing enough for growth and that, coupled with the cuts to local government, the people of the county have been disproportionately hit."
Labour leader Jennifer Mein said: "The north of the country has once again been hit the hardest by the Tory-led government.
"Lancashire has seen a bigger cut than the shire county average and today we have the confirmation that frontline services will bear 70 per cent of the cuts over the coming years.
"These are real cuts to the services that thousands of residents rely on across the county."