SOMERSET County Council has today (January 23) announced some details of its "very difficult" budget for the next financial year.

Among the proposals are reducing bureaucracy in the county council, but it is not yet clear what this entails.

Leader John Osman said: "It is extremely difficult and challenging when our income goes down. These are very tough times for all councils across the country, it is no different in Somerset."

After the Government’s cut of £20million in funding, the council still needs to find this saving from its budget.

The draft budget proposals will be discussed by cabinet members at their next meeting in February.

The proposals will see services reorganised and in some areas modernised to bring significant efficiencies and savings.

Among the highlights of the council's spending plans are a freeze on council tax, the protection of youth services and libraries and extra funding to revamp damaged roads.

Cllr Osman added: "We have protected some areas for the coming year, like youth services, libraries, and school crossing patrol officers.

"We will continue with our priorities, to care for people who need it, and to deliver all our services with the best possible value for money.”