Somerset County Council approves £4m cut to its budget

Somerset County Council office building
Image caption The saving is the first phase of the council's efforts to cut £30.4m from its 2014/15 budget

Cuts of £4m to next year's budget have been approved by county councillors in Somerset.

The saving is the first phase of the Conservative-led authority's efforts to cut £30.4m from its 2014/15 budget.

The financial plan was agreed at a full council meeting at Shire Hall, earlier.

A reduction in government funding, increased costs and rising demand on its services, has been blamed for a "black hole" in the council's finances over the next four years.

In his closing speech, Somerset County Council leader John Osman said: "We live in the real world where tough choices have to be made.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg - I reluctantly ask council to approve these proposals."

The measures were backed by Conservative and UKIP councillors with Liberal Democrat, Labour and Independent members voting against.

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