Vital public services across England could disapear in a new wave of cuts forced on councils by the Con-Dem coalition government, parliament's public spending watchdog warned yesterday.
Part-time Chancellor George Osbourne is ripping £7.6 billion out of council coffers in this parliament, a funding cut of over 25 per cent.
And the National Audit Office (NAO) revealed England's 353 councils have only made half the savings demanded of them by Westminster before March 2015.
Libraries and social services are among facilities which have already been lost from many communities while other councils have had to dig deep into reserves to hold-off the damaging cuts, the NAO said.
Public-sector union Unison head of local government Heather Wakefield warned that "even the most basic services that local councils legally have to provide are now at risk."
"Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost and vital local services such as nurseries, libraries and elderly care centres have closed," she added.
A Unison spokeswoman also confirmed the union supported the decision by many councils to increase council tax in an attempt to keep services open and avoid job losses which could devistate their community.
Yesterday the Star reported that English councils want to wrestle tax raising powers away from Westminster to allow them to continue to fund services.
That came after Tory Communities Secretary Eric Pickles ordered councils which are raising council tax to "man up."