Almost £4million could be cut from Gloucester City Council's budget, it has emerged tonight.
In a heated debate, councillors learnt that savings were needed across every department if the city council is to cope with more Government austerity measures.
Council leader Paul James admitted the £3.86million savings his Tory administration were proposing were going to go much deeper than 'salami slicing'.
The cuts will be made over the next two financial years - 2014/15 and 2015/16 - and would see £500,000 wiped off the grant support give to Aspire, the organisation which runs GL1 leisure centre and Oxstalls, while voluntary organisations would lose £100,000 of grant support.
Concerns were raised that the Law Centre and Citizen Advice Bureau may have to find a new home as one proposal includes removing the rent grant support that they currently enjoy.
Norman Gardner, bureau manager for the Gloucester and District Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “News of this proposal has come as a shock particularly as we were led to believe that we were an important service that the council were keen to support.
“Clearly a cut of the magnitude currently being considered, followed closely behind the termination of our rent grants, which is over 30 per cent of our Council grant, earlier in the year will be difficult for us to fill.
“That said, we believe that the continuation of the services we collectively provide are fundamental and indeed essential to the people of Gloucester especially in the economic circumstances in which our clients tend to live. It is to be hoped that they will be able to continue.”
Other tough measures include a potential 10 per cent hike in garden waste charges, slashing the Gloucester Guildhall budget by £250,000 and saving the same amount from the running of the Folk and City Museums.
There was some good news for taxpayers and motorists alike - council tax will be frozen for the fourth year running and car parking charges will not be increased.
The budget will need to be approved in the New Year but the administration set out its stall at a meeting of the scrutiny committee tonight.
Mr James said: "We have already achieved £7.5million of savings over the past few years. That is a pretty substantial sum.
"Our challenge this time will be in that the much bigger savings will come in the following year.
"Are we a sustainable council if we don't take some radical decisions? I'd say no we are not. We cannot carry on salami slicing."
But there are fears that the such a huge cut to Aspire's grant could leave the future of facilities such as GL1 under threat. Labour leader Kate Haigh said: "We need to know what this will mean for Aspire. Could it mean the closure of the facility or a part of it? Cutting a budget in half could have a massive impact."
But Julian Wain, chief executive of the council, warned: "It is important to remember that the figures are quite drastic and it is going to be challenging. The savings are going to have to come from somewhere. The question of the sustainability of the Aspire Trust is equally about the sustainability of the council."
Liberal Democrat leader Jeremy Hilton said a 'lack of detail' in what all of the cuts could mean on the ground was 'feeble'. He said: "This looks scant and feeble and we are very much on a wing and a prayer as to whether we will actually make any of these savings. We should have had detailed reports coming to us. There is something wrong here."
Cabinet members and council officers alike vowed to shed more light on the detail of the savings, but said it would depend on what grant settlement they receive from the Government for the year ahead, something which would only be announced later this month.