THE workforce at Cumbria County Council has fallen by 153 people in a year.

The authority's current employees stand at 7213 - down on last year's 7366.

In excess of 600 posts are due to go over the coming financial year at the Lab-Lib Dem run authority.

Its new 2014-17 plan says 62 per cent of its employees are part-time and 77 per cent of its workforce are women.

The council has warned it needs to save £24 million alone this year on the back of cuts from central government, which its says is equivalent to the Treasury taking one of every four pounds.

The authority says it has already saved £88 million over the last three years and will need to find an equivalent amount between now and 2016.

Over the last three years, the council said a total of 905 employees had taken redundancy.

817 of these were through the council’s voluntary redundancy scheme.

It is now looking at ways to help staff work more flexibly including supporting staff to become more mobile and work remotely from home.

"We do not know exactly what our workforce will look like in 2016, yet our organisation will be much smaller," says its new plan.

"By 2017, we will look, act and feel like a different organisation."

Over the life of the plan, it says it will simplify structures, reduce management layers and empower staff to make decisions.

Countwide, the authority says it currently:

* Supports over 300 schools

* Arranges and delivers home care for over 5,600 older people

* Provides access to 730,000 library books

* Looks after more than 600 children

* Funds 28 children's centres

* Carries out over 16,200 safety cheques

* Maintains 5,000 miles of road

* 4,000 public rights of way

* 44,368 street lights

* Registers 4,700 births annually

* Recycles 115,000 tonnes of household waste

The five themes it is working to are reshaping the council, a flexible and agile workforce, leadership and management development, engagement and innovation, and health and wellbeing.