Funding for libraries, meals on wheels and some disability support packages is to be cut by Croydon Council as part of £29m budget cuts.

Forty-six staff are set to be made redundant next year under proposals revealed by the authority today.

Reductions in spending on sheltered housing blocks, green waste collections and voluntary groups were also detailed by a draft 2016/17 budget.

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Council leader Tony Newman blamed "draconian cuts" in central Government funding which he said amounted to an "attack on local public services that will affect every household in Croydon".

But opposition councillors described the budget as "naive" and questioned the authority's priorities.

The council has identified savings of £15.75m in its budget for the next financial year, as well as £12.24m over the following 12 months and £0.96m in 2018/19.

Its IT and facilities management departments, which are proposed to lose nearly £2m each next year, will be among the hardest hit.

Among the proposals are:

  • reviewing all 24-hour learning disability placements and moving those that are "high cost" (saving £644,000)
  • reviewing and reducing cost of support packages for 18-25-year-old people with learning and physical disabilities (£323,000)
  • charging for garden waste collections or scrapping the service entirely (£1.6m)
  • increasing meals on wheels charges (£125,000)
  • redesigning catering services in sheltered housing blocks (£240,000)
  • inviting community groups to run some of the borough's libraries (£217,000) 
  • reduce "operational costs" at Monks Hill Sport Centre (£190,000)

Fourteen staff are set to lose their jobs as a result from the council's "Eyes and Ears" initiative, which charges staff with taking on different roles to "streamline" services.

The axe is also likely to fall on the council's planning department, where eight employees are proposed to go, as well as positions in finance and human resources.

The job losses would be in addition to the council-wide voluntary redundancy scheme announced last month and revealed by the Croydon Guardian.

Other staff be asked to work "in a more flexible way," according to the budget report, to allow the council to rent out space in its Bernard Weatherill House headquarters.

Councillor Simon Hall, cabinet member for finance, said an a 56 per cent loss of Government funding over the next five years had led to a "very tough budget".

He added: "You have to see it in the context of what are core services, what are essential things - we make no secret that there are a number of areas where we have had to look at fees and charges, where we’re looking to get people’s contributions or payment for different services.

"What we’re not prepared to do is what some local authorities have done, which is literally going down to statutory services. [But] to do so we’re having to take a very different approach to how services are delivered."

Coun Tim Pollard, leader of the Conservative opposition group, claimed some of the savings identified "don't look very deliverable."

He said: "My first impression is that it's about taking away a lot of the funding for supported activity and hoping the voluntary sector makes good.

"It looks like a naive budget that is going to be in trouble from day one."

The draft budget will be looked at by the council's scrutiny and overview committee on Tuesday before going before the cabinet for approval in February.