Wigan Council must save £66m by 2015

Image caption, The council has to save £66m over three years

Wigan Council will have to save £66m over four years, leading to hundreds of job losses and cuts to frontline services, the council leader has said.

The cabinet was asked to approve measures including the loss of up to 800 jobs, up to 10% of the work force, at a meeting on Thursday.

The authority has already banned external recruitment and cut overtime.

Council leader Lord Peter Smith said the Labour-run council would try to minimise job losses.

He said: "We are looking at up to 800 job losses, we are trying to reduce that number as in turn that will impact on the local economy.

"We are working with trade unions on this and using a phased approach over several months."

The council is set to reduce its adult services provision and save on children's services.

It will also look at saving money by reducing leisure centre and library services.

Lord Smith said: "It is tough. I didn't come into politics to make big cuts in services, I wanted to make people's lives in Wigan better and we're going to have to work with people in their local communities to make sure it doesn't have a devastating effect."

The council has already begun consultation with staff over job losses.

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