Dorset County Council in £22.5m savings pledge

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Dorset County Council is planning to reduce redundancy payments, charge for staff parking and axe senior management posts in a bid to save £22.5m.

It is the first stage of the authority's bid to save a total of £48.6m over the next three years.

The proposals also include reducing the number of council buildings and reviewing sick pay.

Unions are negotiating with officials before the plans are debated on Wednesday and 1 December.

There could also be changes to library and youth services.

'Huge challenges'

The authority is also looking at ways to boost its income from country parks.

Councillor Angus Campbell, leader of Dorset County Council, said: "We have a range of important projects now under way, to make further savings and we have frozen recruitment across the organisation.

"But these will go less than half way to meeting the current £48.6m savings target.

"The speed and scale of savings required pose huge challenges.

"We need to make more fundamental changes and to consider stopping or radically changing services."