COUNTY Council bosses have admitted there will be difficult decisions ahead as they try to save as much money as possible, due to an overspend of more than £5 million.

Demand for social care is the major factor that has led to increased budget pressure.

Actions already taken this year, which include tighter recruitment controls, a review of all non-contracted spend, management of long term borrowing and capitalising the costs of highways maintenance, have reduced the projected overspend by more than £12.5 million.

But, more is needed.

Measures to reduce costs for future years were outlined to council staff earlier this week.

These include a review of the shape and size of the council and the services that it provides.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the leader of Worcestershire County Council, said: "Many county councils across the country are reporting financial pressures as a result of increases in demand for children's services and adult social care.

"Worcestershire is no different. We have already taken action this year to reduce the predicted overspend.

"However, in the absence of an agreed national solution to fund Adult Social Care we will have to continue to take difficult decisions in order to protect the most vulnerable in our society."

Worcestershire County Council has an annual net budget of more than £324 million.

More than two thirds of that budget is spent on safeguarding children and protecting vulnerable adults.

Over the last 10 years the council has already made £168 million worth of savings and cost avoidance.

The council has a budgeted workforce of more than 2,800 full time equivalents.