PLANS to cut services in Hampshire in a bid to save £80m have been given the green light with more than 270 jobs now being at risk.

Street lights are  to be switched off for longer hours at night, support for people with learning disabilities is set to be reduced and residents are to be asked to pay to dispose of non-household wood waste and to park at countryside sites where it is currently free as part of a move that will save Hampshire County Council £80m by 2021. 

The controversial proposals, which could also mean the closure of some libraries, were approved by county bosses at a full council meeting in Winchester on Thursday, November 7.

Further details of the proposals are yet to be revealed and will be subject to public consultations and further approval. As previously reported, 277 jobs are now at risk with 120 of them being in the adult social care and health department and up to 58 in the  library sector.

At the meeting council leader Keith  Mans said this is the fifth of a series of saving programmes and  will be the most challenging.

Opposition leader Councillor Keith House hit back saying the county council’s budget is “unsustainable”.

He added: “The incremental reduction of our services continues and it’s Hampshire people that have to pay. Every time we are cutting services that are essential.”

A number of councillors raised concerns over the effect the cuts will have on the health and adult social care department.

As previously reported, one-to-one and two-to-one support for people with learning disabilities, services which provide drug and alcohol treatment to adults and young people as well as support for youngsters affected by domestic abuse  are also set to be reduced. 

At the meeting Councillor Michael Westbrook said: “The most vulnerable will be the hardest hit by these proposals. They will be more costly in the long term. Everyone agrees that prevention is better than cure and cheaper than cure.”

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, cabinet member for adult social care and health, hit back saying: “I would like to agree with the leader, we need a national solution to adult social care. But I would like to assure that any resident of Hampshire who needs adult social care will receive it.”

As previously reported, earlier this year Councillor Mans called on the government to come up with a funding strategy to tackle the increasing pressure on social care.

County bosses said they are proposing a tested strategy of investing early, maximising income opportunity and carefully using the council’s resources.

Members of the public are now expected to have their say on some of the proposals with public consultations expected to be held over the coming months.