LANCASHIRE County Council has slashed the number of top directors it employs in an attempt to save £1million.

Eight high-earners have left County Hall, leaving the council with 21 people in its management team.

The council said the new model would be ‘simpler and leaner’ as it looked to make £179million spending cuts.

It comes as bosses predicted they would be able to avoid a single compulsory redundancy in their cuts programme.

Council leader Geoff Driver said: “We set out to avoid compulsory redundancies, and it looks as though we will be able to do it without any at all, which is really good news.

“The way it’s been done is definitely not the easiest way, but we are convinced it’s the right way.

"Whoever caused the country to get into this financial mess, it definitely wasn’t the staff of Lancashire County Council.”

This week saw the deadline for applications for voluntary redundancy, with thousands of requests believed to have been submitted, although many will not be accepted.

Coun Driver has refused to reveal how many jobs would go as part of the spending cuts.

The new management setup has removed two executive director positions, the most senior roles behind chief executive Phil Halsall.

One of these was the role of executive director of resources, previously occupied by Mr Halsall before his promotion, and the other was executive director for policy.

Seven directors have also gone, including those in charge of IT, human resources and customer services.

All the reductions were carried out via requests for voluntary redundancy and early retirement, Coun Driver said.

Coun Jennifer Mein, leader of the council’s opposition Labour group, said: “The key thing will be to see if we can still perform properly.”