MORE than £22 million of fresh cuts could be needed at Worcestershire County Council under a bombshell forecast.

Bosses at County Hall are expecting to have to make millions of extra savings by 2016/17, and say further job losses are likely on top of those already announced.

They now say the BOLD scheme – Better Outcomes Leaner Delivery, which was drawn up to deliver £90 million of cutbacks by 2015 – is now unlikely to be enough.

The council’s medium term financial plan forecasts a black hole of £900,000 in 2013/14, which will be followed by a £3.7 million gap in 2015/16.

A £17.7 million hole in the balance sheet is predicted by 2016/17.

That means an extra £22.3 million needs to be clawed back by the end of that period.

Leader of the county council Adrian Hardman said: “We’ve said we need to save £90 million but the reality is, it could be considerably more than that.

"There are going to be more reductions in the headcount, and we will be a smaller authority at the end of it.”

The BOLD project was due to end in 2015/16, but it will now be extended to take account of the situation.

The figure of £22.3 million is essentially an assumption based on predictions around Government grants, income and the economy.

Trish Haines, the county council’s chief executive, added: “We’re likely to have to shrink more as an organisation.”

The financial settlement from the Government for 2013/14 will be known in December.

Bosses say they are struggling due to a combination of problems including an ever-increasing elderly population, inflation, demands on services increasing and the general economic outlook.