Berkshire

Major cuts force Berkshire councils to find almost £7m

Berkshire's six unitary councils will have to find savings of nearly £7m between them as the government tries to cut the UK's deficit by nearly £6bn.

Social care projects, transport schemes and library services are expected to be scrutinised as the local authorities decide where the axe will fall.

West Berkshire Council says it will have to take "urgent action" to plug a £1.9m shortfall.

Reading Borough Council has to slash £1.5m.

West Berkshire has already frozen recruitment, and Council Leader Graham Jones said: "We are already planning for government cuts for next financial year, but these immediate cuts have come on top of that.

"However, they are a reality, and the main point to make is that we are dealing with them."

Chief Executive, Nick Carter, said: "National economic austerity has been with us for some time, so we established a task group a while ago to oversee pressure on the council's finances.

"However, we wait to see if the government's emergency budget on 22 June will mean a further demand for savings."

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