The Rose Theatre is set to see its annual subsidy reduced from £600,000 to £500,000, as Kingston Council unveiled £13m of savings this afternoon.

Councillors originally agreed a £1.8m, three-year New Deal to keep the theatre open in Christmas week 2008.

But according to council's budget proposals the venue will now receive £2.5m of taxpayers' money over five years.

The announcement follows controversy last month when the theatre revealed it would ask for more public money when that money ran out.

Other budget proposals include freezing council tax in Kingston , currently the highest in London, in 2011-12.

Libraries will be hit by a 50 per cent cut to the book fund, but books for young people and people with disabilities will be protected.

Councillor Rolson Davies, executive member for finance, said the saving was an alternative to closing two branch libraries this year.

However, he said an on-going review could see branches closed next year as the council sought to share services with neighbouring authorities.

Two or three children's centres are also expected to close, and the council will work to reprovision day care services at the Crescent and Causeway Centres.

Council staff earning over £21,000 will see their pay frozen for a second year, but the lower paid are expected to receive £250. Senior council officers have yet to respond to a request from Coun Davies to take a 10 per cent pay cut.

The council said 200 council posts would be lost over the next two years.

Growth items in the budget include £700,000 for highways maintenance, £1.4m for adult services and £800,000 for children's services.

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