The "difficult choices" forewarned by council chiefs earlier this year were laid bare after a programme of cuts worth £12 million was approved by the cabinet of Powys County Council during a meeting this week.

The move comes despite a recommended council tax increase of 9.5 per cent, as the authority seeks to make urgent savings from it's budget.

Should the proposed budget be rubber stamped by a meeting of full council next week, huge reductions are likely in some service areas with others decimated completely, while a significant number of jobs are likely to be at risk.

The programme of job cuts, estimated to save around £2m, includes a £1m restructure of senior management positions at the authority, as well as staffing changes and restructures to a wide range of council departments.

The county council is currently the areas largest employer, with around 6,000 people on the payroll at County Hall.

A further £1.1m worth of savings are expected to be made in the Highway, Transport and Recycling department with the council identifying "better productivity", alongside improved absence sickness management and reducing spending on third party contractors as areas where savings could be made.

The council's Arts and Culture service is also facing the axe with "cease service and remove the council from arts and cultural partnerships" a potential option to attract a saving of around £139k, while similar changes to youth service provision would see £165k cut from the budget.

The authority's highly-rated sports development department, Sport Powys, could see £108k worth of savings with reductions to staffing levels as well as reduced levels of participation and support offered to local sports clubs.

A plan to shave £200k from the libraries budget will see all provision in the county reviewed while a slew of smaller scale services such as grass cutting on verges and street lighting is set to be cut back to a statutory minimum service level.

Portfolio Holder for Finance, Aled Davies, said the budget was designed to protect the investment made in children's services over the past year.

"To bridge the gap we have made significant savings across the council.

"Our senior management team is much smaller now, that will save us £1 million.

"Reduction in management and staff office back room functions will save another £3.3 million and there are significant changes to assets across the county."

"We are also looking at withdrawal of funding from some areas so that we can focus and prioritise on our main and most important areas which will give us a further saving of £2.4million."