Redundancy packages for 127 West Berkshire Council staff expected to lose their jobs due to cuts are to be decided next month.
But campaigners have warned the wider impact of the cuts would be felt much further afield – through job losses at contractors, businesses and charities, as well as a shrinking economy in the town.
A council forward plan has earmarked an executive meeting on April 21 as the date for the redundancy payments to be approved.
Council leader Roger Croft said: “They will be all sorts of internal jobs. Formal notices of risk have been sent out.
“Wherever possible we will do whatever we can to do our best and deploy people to other departments.”
However, co-founder of campaign group West Berkshire SOS (Save Our Services), David Marsh, said the true redundancy figures were tough to calculate.
He said: “It isn’t just about the people who work directly for the council, that’s the trouble.”
He added: “There is a knock-on effect on the local economy. If you stop 130 people getting their wages, that stops them spending. There is a non-stop spiral of cuts.”
A protest on Saturday will see campaigners march through Newbury town centre carrying eight tombstones symbolising the death of West Berkshire’s eight libraries, starting at 11am in Market Place.
As part of a second phase of £7 million in cuts, the council is planning on shutting all but one of its libraries to save £730,000, cutting £460,000 from public transport, and a 44 per cent reduction in funding for theatres. The council is being forced to make savings of £17.5m after its funding from central Government was cut by 44 per cent.
A first phase of £10.5m in cuts including a list of 37 savings was approved earlier this month.
However, £1m in ‘transitional funding’ from the Government for 2016 to 2017 is yet to be allocated.
Mr Marsh added: “We just don’t know what they are going to do with the money yet, they could reduce the impact of the cuts. They could keep all the libraries open – or they might spread the funding out.”
Cllr Croft declined to comment on what changes might be included in the plan.
A report detailing the cuts is due to be published on the council’s website today, ahead of the special meeting to decide the final budget next Thursday, March 24, from 6.30pm. West Berkshire SOS is planning another protest ahead of the meeting at the council offices.