SCALED back cuts to public services in Basingstoke have been praised, though the battle goes on to save a bus service.

Last year, Hampshire County Council voted through a package of spending reductions and increased charges throughout the county, which was met with opposition by other political parties.

After consulting residents through its Balancing the Budget initiative, the county council announced it would have to make savings of £140 million before April 2019.

As part of this funding, several vital services in Basingstoke and Deane would be cut, including axing bus subsidies and stopping school crossing patrols.

However, the county council has now announced a scaled back approach to these cuts, which has been met with praise from leader of the Basingstoke Liberal Democrats, councillor Gavin James.

Cllr James said: “It’s encouraging to see the Conservatives are finally listening to the residents they are supposed to serve.”

A petition was set up to save the number 12 bus service which links Hatch Warren to the town centre passing through Brighton Hill, Cranbourne, Black Dam and Eastrop along the way.

The petition set up by John McKay managed to secure more than 850 signatures which its proponents argue showed how much people rely on the service.

Cllr James added: “John will now keep up the pressure on the Conservatives to save our much-used number 12 bus.

“And Lib Dem pressure has secured another important victory on Household Waste Recycling Centres.

“A year after the Tories were forced to scrap plans to reduce tip opening times, their proposals to close half of Hampshire’s waste and recycling centres have been dumped in response to Liberal Democrat pressure.”

Cllr James warned despite the scaled back approached from the county council, there is still an uncertain future to some of Basingstoke’s services.