Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth City Council approves £13m cuts

Portsmouth Civic Offices where the city council is based Image copyright Gary Reggae
Image caption Portsmouth City Council needs to find £37m of savings over the next three years

Portsmouth City Council has approved £13m budget cuts, which it had warned could lead to job losses.

Areas affected during 2015/2016 will include women's refuge services, community centres, adult social care and dial-a-ride.

Conservative, UKIP, and Labour councillors voted in favour of the cuts, while the Liberal Democrats voted against.

The Lib Dems had been concerned about a potential loss of 80 jobs.

Council leader Donna Jones had said the authority needed to find £37m of savings over the next three years, on top of £61m it had already saved in the last four years.

Lib Dem leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson had said Portsmouth residents "deserve better than to have the most vulnerable people see their services slashed, and put out of jobs".

Council worker Lee Sprake, joint branch secretary of the Portsmouth Unison branch, said: "Potentially my new year present is that I'm going to receive notice, it's due on the 5th or 7th of January.

"At a time when I'm 50 years old I should be looking at spending my later years enjoying it, I brought up a family, I've got grandchildren and now what am I going to do? A zero hours contract somewhere? Some sort of agency work?"

The council, which is under no overall control but is being run as a minority Conservative administration, released its full proposals last month.

Following a budget consultation with 2,500 residents and staff, it had said it would not cut the grants for the Kings Theatre, New Theatre Royal and Aspex Gallery.

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