THE leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Ian Hudspeth, signed a letter calling on Government to end austerity cuts.

The letter, signed by 119 local council leaders and published in today's Observer, says councils are coming to the end of “efficiency savings”, and any further cuts to their Government grants will lead to “vital services being scaled back or lost altogether”.

Because of Government cuts, Oxfordshire County Council must find £60m of savings in the next four years on top of the £200m savings achieved or planned since 2010.

The letter warns: "Services such as libraries, leisure centres and road maintenance continue to buckle under the strain of cuts and the ever-rising cost of caring for our growing elderly population.

“Failure to address this will not only jeopardise other services, but will pass costs on to the NHS, which will have to pick up the pieces if we cannot protect adult social care or provide the services that keep people healthy."

On Saturday the Oxford Mail reported on a message sent to all staff at Oxfordshire County Council from chief executive Joanna Simons about measures to help combat a forecasted £11m budget shortfall.