The axe is set to fall on lollipop men and women across Derbyshire as part of “unrelenting” budget cuts, council chiefs have revealed.
The controversial plan was announced this morning by Councillor Anne Western, the leader of Derbyshire County Council, along with a fresh raft of other cost-cutting proposals aimed at saving £158million by 2018.
The Labour-led authority has confirmed that it is facing the toughest cuts in its history.
Cllr Western said: “We need to be absolutely clear – we do not want to make these unrelenting cuts which will affect services local people rely on.
“The Government has left us no choice and we are having to think the unthinkable.”
Under the proposals, all school crossing patrol officers who currently work at 200 locations around the county face losing their jobs next year.
The council’s b_line scheme, which provides discounted fares on public transport for 14 to 19-year-olds, could be scrapped, fewer roads would be gritted and library opening hours may be cut.
In addition, there would be a 25 per cent cut in funding to support hundreds of people in residential homes across Derbyshire.
If the plans go ahead, 2,000 jobs would be cut at the council over the next three years on top of 1,600 already announced.
Cllr Western added: “We want local people to understand the scale of what we’re dealing with and what we need to do to balance the books over the next three years.
“We’re doing all we can to protect services from cuts by continually looking for new and better ways of doing things and if we can avoid making some of these cuts further down the road then we will.
“We’re already using some money from reserves – which is cash set aside for unexpected costs and emergencies – and pumping it into frontline services such as adult care.
“But despite all this, it’s not enough. Spending reserves is like spending your savings, you can only do it once. We’ve got £29m left and that wouldn’t even be enough to keep the council going for two weeks.
“Basically, it all boils down to the hard fact that unless there is a change of policy at national level, some frontline services will have to go and others will be heavily reduced.”
For more information about the proposed cuts, which are on top of savings already announced earlier this year, visit here.