SCHOOL crossing patrols, councillor allowances and services for disabled children are all in line to be cut as the cash-strapped council tries to find £12.5 million savings.

The authority has signed off proposals to make substantial cutbacks across the board over the next two years, which could affect 239 jobs at the town hall.

Now, The Bolton News can reveal the areas which could be slashed if the budget plan is agreed by councillors in February.

In the Department of Place, the biggest staffing cut could be in school crossing patrols, where all 40 remaining posts could be axed for a saving of £200,000.

The council said some schools are already funding their own lollipop staff and hopes this could increase as a way forward for the service.

The Place department could also see 12 roles in its highways team go — in a bid to save £445,000.

Elsewhere, planned savings in the Department of People could see cuts made to services for vulnerable youngsters in the borough.

A saving of £15,000 is being proposed by trimming the budget for short break activities for disabled people — a specialist service aimed at helping children with disabilities and their families.

There is also a planned saving of £75,000 from the budget for children’s residential and respite provision, with a further £53,000 being cut from a service aimed at supporting young people leaving care in their transition into independent living.

The authority said it is confident of making these savings by sharing them across different units and thus limiting the impact on the children it cares for.

Schools could also feel the brunt of the budget cuts — with £230,000 to be chopped from funding the council offers to primary schools for improvements.

Eight jobs are set to be axed from other services for young people such as the Connexions careers team and early intervention work, in a bid to save another £230,000.

These are non-statutory services and the council will look at bringing teams together to make the saving.

The authority has warned in recent years that further Government funding cuts will mean it has to stop offering support to some of the most vulnerable people in the borough.

This is displayed by a plan to make £250,000 savings from the budget which provides supported housing for people with learning disabilities.

Bosses also intend to review the Government’s Fairer Charging Policy, which relates to the amount people pay for social care. The council want to save more than half a million pounds in this area, which could see residents paying more for homecare services, although chiefs insist no one will have to pay more than they can afford.

The biggest job threat in the People department will also affect young people.

Between 30 and 52 posts will be axed from the council’s free play and youth services, which currently provides free activities across the borough.

It is hoped that £300,000 will be saved in this move and the council has pointed out that the jobs affected are largely part-time positions.

Residents will be pleased to hear that elected councillors haven’t escaped the axe.

Members’ allowances are set to be cut back as part of a plan to save more than £300,000 which could also include the loss of a senior council officer.

There could also be 25 jobs slashed from the authority’s customer services and revenues and benefits teams, based at the One Stop Shop, where £730,000 is hoped to be found.

Public health is also a target — with £2 million and more than seven posts to be cut from areas including smoking cessation, sexual health, oral health and substance misuse services.

Across the board, town hall bosses are confident that they will not have to bring in any compulsory redundancies and have pointed out that there are a large number of vacant posts, which under-threat staff could potentially move into.

There are also areas currently covered by agency staff where savings can be made — although some agency cover is considered critical to the council.

Chief executive Margaret Asquith was keen to point out that these are only proposals, which could change before February’s budget meeting.

She said: “We will be consulting on these proposals with staff and unions and the general public and it very much depends what they come back with in terms of the final plan put to the council.

“These things are always tough, it is about finding the balance between where we can realistically make cuts and having the least impact on the staff and services that we really need.”

“We are optimistic about increasing our council tax and business rates base in the future, which will really help.”

Council leader Cliff Morris added: “This is a challenge, it is a cut and understandably some people will not be happy with what we are proposing.

“We are trying to be as fair as possible and we want to stick to our core values at the same time as trying to bring economic growth into the town.”