Cuts to Dorset council jobs and services backed

Plans to axe 500 Dorset County Council jobs and some services in a bid to save up to £50m over three years have been backed by councillors.

The cuts would include closing 20 of the county's 34 libraries, unless volunteers step forward to run them, and closing some day centres.

The Conservative-run council announced the plans last week as part of a bid to save about £27m in 2011/2012.

The plans were backed at a full council meeting. A decision is due in February.

Under threat

About 50 protesters held a demonstration outside county hall during the day.

They included council workers, union representatives and members of the public.

The council has said "front-line services" will be protected as far as possible in the cuts, which follow the government's Spending Review.

Also under threat are careers advice and school crossing patrols, which could be offered as volunteer roles.

The council said some funding could also be saved by reducing the number of council buildings and increasing income from services like country parks.

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