Hampshire County Council IT jobs are at risk, as the council attempts to slash its IT budget by £1 million and cuts staff across its operations.

The council has announced it will cut 1,200 jobs across functions, and IT is likely to take part of the blow, as it attempts to strip £55 million from its budget. The cuts represent nearly a tenth of its total workforce.

Hampshire was unable to state how many IT jobs would be cut. It said that IT department heads would present a plan to council executives over the coming weeks, alongside heads of all other departments. A final budget will be set on 24 February. Jos Creese, head of IT at Hampshire, is currently president of Socitm, the public sector IT managers' association, which is arguing that investment in IT is essential to delivering quality services on reduced budgets.

Among Hampshire's plans, IT, communications and "support" function costs at the council will each be cut by £1 million.

Hampshire also plans to save £10 million by renegotiating contracts from all types of supplier, and £7 million by cutting senior management. There will also be a freeze on recruitment.

The council said it had to make the changes after a 14 percent cut, worth £31 million, in the grant it receives from the government.

Councillor Ken Thornber, leader of Hampshire County Council, said: "There can be no debate over whether or not we make cuts, the withdrawal of government funding to meet the national debt leaves us without that choice."

He added: "Included within this programme are plans to reduce our pay bill, which makes up 51 percent of our overall budget."

The council vowed to minimise compulsory redundancies.