THE amount Barnet Council is expecting to have to save in the next three years has reached more than £54m according to its latest figures.

Budget plans put forward for consideration at next week's full council meeting show officers expect an extra squeeze of around £10m on what has already been predicted.

Around £15.2m is expected to be saved through a reduction or “deletion” of some services currently provided by the council, while a further £22m has been earmarked through making “efficiencies”.

While council tax will be frozen this year, following a pledge by the Conservatives during the General Election campaign, rises of 2.5 per cent are expected in the next two years.

Officers claim more than 60 per cent of the savings outlined in the budget stem from One Barnet projects and “efficiency measures”, rather than direct cuts.

Last week the cabinet officially passed the One Barnet, formerly called Future Shape, business plan which aims to save £100m in ten years, but will spend £9m to do so.

An extra £2.5m has been allocated for child protection from an interim budget report published in October, but the cash has been pulled away from children's centres in the borough.

A further £900,000 which was to be pulled from charities has also been left in place for the next year, but will go in 2012/13.

A “Big Society” fund of £200,000 has also been established from cash saved by cutting senior managerial posts at the council.

However, the officers who have drafted the report admit there is still uncertainty as to the future of some services until central government makes a decision on grants, mainly in children's services.

Some of the budget pressures may be alleviated, according to the report, if the council recovers some or all of the £29m lost when Icelandic banks folded in 2008.