GROUPS are calling for more support to local authorities after plans to save millions of pounds from services in Hampshire have been approved.

A lack of funding from central government has been blamed for the further cuts approved by Hampshire County Council.

As previously reported, earlier this month the authority backed proposals which would hit services further and put 277 jobs at risk as part of a move to save £80m by 2021.

Some details of the plans are yet to be published  but official documents have revealed that health and adult social care are the areas set to be hit the most.

Among the proposals there are plans to reduce 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 and support for youngsters affected by domestic abuse. 

But Winchester-based charity GoLD, which supports people with learning disability, said there needs to be more support for local authorities.

Its consultant general manager Paul Jessop said: “It is not the council’s fault, it’s central government’s fault. The council has to manage the money it has. There has to be a change across the board because local authorities  are constantly having their budgets cut.”

He said the cuts will also add more pressure on charities.

He also stressed the importance of one-to-one and two-to-one support for people with learning disabilities and added: “If they can’t get that support then it means they end up staying in the room and not doing anything. ”

County council leader Keith Mans has repeatedly called on the government to come up with a long-term strategy in support of local authorities.

UNISON South East regional organiser Sarah O’Donoghue said the most recent cuts approved by the county council will hit the most vulnerable.

She added: “These harsh cost-cutting measures will have a huge impact across the county. Libraries could be axed, volunteers will be increasingly relied upon to provide services, vital jobs will go and many people needing help will have to get by with significantly less support. Starved of funds by Westminster, local councillors often have little choice when it comes to wielding the cuts axe. Without a significant injection of resources, very soon local authorities like Hampshire will have to pull the plug on every service they’re not legally required to provide. This desperate state of affairs has got to end for all our sakes. Local services provide essential safety nets at the heart of every community and must be funded properly.”