No word on job cuts from Lancashire County Council

Image caption,
County Councillor Geoff Driver says discussing job cuts is not important

The leader of Lancashire County Council has refused to say how many jobs will be lost in the council's planned £179m spending cuts.

The Conservative-run council finalised its cuts to services at a meeting on Thursday.

Council leader Geoff Driver said: "I am not going to talk about jobs. It's not about jobs, it's about the effect of the services we provide."

The annual £803m budget is to be cut by £33m next year and £146m over 2012/14.

The GMB union has said that up to 6,000 jobs are under threat, but the council has disputed the figure.

Mr Driver said: "The number of jobs that will go will be as a result of the measures we take and we're doing our very, very best to avoid compulsory redundancies.

"The numbers don't matter, it's about the services we provide."

He added: "The people whose jobs are at risk know exactly that their job is at risk which is why we have invited everybody in the council to take voluntary severance so the people who do not want redundancy can be redeployed."

Mr Driver also said: "The actual numbers are sensationalising it. We don't want to do that. We are talking to the staff themselves as they are the ones that matter."

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