County Faces Pounds 18m in Cuts; REPORT: Fire Service, Music and Mobile Libraries at Risk

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Byline: By Lucy Lynch EDUCATION REPORTER

A MASSIVE package of spending cuts being considered by Warwickshire County Council could see firefighters losing jobs and the scrapping of cut-price musical instruments for schools.

Other services threatened by the multi-million-pound package include support for children leaving care and subsidised bus fares for college students.

The proposals, to be discussed by councillors today, would also see council tax rise by 3.7 per cent.

Council bosses are trying to save pounds 18million to balance the books.

The plans include replacing 15 full-time firefighters on day shifts with part-timers. A report from council bosses to today's cabinet says this would save pounds 89,000 without hitting the service to the public.

It gives councillors a choice between taking 12 to 18 months to make the cuts without redundancies, or cutting some jobs.

Reducing or ending the subsidy to the council music service would save almost pounds 1million, but would mean the end of cut-price musical instrument lessons for pupils and the closure of area music centres and county performance centres.

Other proposals include ending subsidised bus fares for sixth-formers and college students, cutting support to young offenders and to teenagers leaving foster care and children's homes, and ending the Treasure project which helps children with behavioural problems. …