CUTS must be made at Oxfordshire County Council but money will be spent where people are most in need, according to its leader.

Ian Hudspeth said next year’s budget, set yesterday, will ensure £11.5m more is spent providing adult social care than planned, on top of another £8.5m in children’s social care and, in a last minute change, another £500,000 in an attempt to tackle homelessness.

In 2018/19 the council will spend more than £400m – but has needed to save more than £360m since 2010 and will need to save £21m by 2022.

Mr Hudspeth said: “Our financial position is still extremely tight, and we must work hard to deliver the savings in the medium term financial plan. But I am confident we can and will make those savings.”

Labour leader Liz Brighouse said her party was opposed to measures to increase charges for some people who receive adult social care – which could cost about 1,700 people an extra £1,560 next year.

The council has said it will ensure charges in a more affluent part of the county are reflected in care costs, but Labour has dismissed it as a ‘postcode lottery’.

Mrs Brighouse said: “ It is monstrous that an elderly vulnerable person in one part of the County should pay more than a resident in similar circumstances in another.”

She added that she felt the amount of money cut from local government in the last decade has been ‘criminal’ and urged councillors to vote against the proposed budget.

She felt the move would show Government that ‘enough is enough’ and that it would show ministers ‘that’s what we think of them and the position they’ve put us in’.

But Labour councillor Emma Turnbull said she was ‘delighted’ that extra money has been put aside to tackle homelessness in 2019/20 – when the council had originally planned to scrap all of its funding that year.

She said her party had put ‘consistent pressure’ on the council to increase homeless provision and prevention services.

The council had planned in 2016 to withdraw all of its homeless budget over two years.

Within the budget papers was also the announcement that plans to partner up with other councils to provide IT services will no longer go ahead – for the time being.

The council had said it hoped to save £2.4m over three years, starting from 2018/19.

It said it will instead be looking at IT savings as part of a ‘wider transformation’ in 2019/20.

Yesterday the council also announced that it will receive an extra £1.4m of additional grant money from Government to fund adult social care.

But the council plans that the money is placed into a contingency fund, with a review planned in next autumn.

The budget was passed, with 36 councillors in favour and 27 opposed. There were no abstentions.

Lib Dems leader Richard Webber said it was ‘obvious’ Oxfordshire should move to a unitary authority – under which Oxfordshire’s five district councils would be axed – to save £25m annually.

The county council provides about 80 per cent of all Oxfordshire’s services, including its fire and rescue service.