SWINDON Council is facing millions of pounds of funding cuts after the Government ordered big savings to help tackle the national deficit.

Senior councillors fear the central grant for the current financial year could be slashed by up to £4 million – and are now considering holding an emergency meeting to set a new budget.

The full details of the cuts were still unknown last night. But as council officers scrambled to work out exactly where the axe would fall the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed that the town would lose at least £1.4m in Whitehall revenue over the next few months.

The council is bracing itself to lose a further £600,000 in capital funding and up to £2m in other grants.

Mark Edwards, the council’s cabinet member for finance, told the Advertiser: “We have been expecting bad news and we got it.

“Clearly we understand why we have got this cut, after 13 years of mismanagement of the economy, but we are incredibly disappointed.

"We now need to look very hard at what we have got to do to make sure the impact on frontline services is minimal.

“We will have to look at the impact of these reductions on this year's budget in a very short space of time, in the next two or three weeks, and we will be looking at all options. An emergency budget is one of them.”

Coun Edwards also raised concerns that while Swindon faced big cuts other authorities appeared to have got off lightly.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, announcing details of the £1.16bn reduction in central grants to local government in 2010/11, insisted that the tough economic times would be “challenging for all”.

But while Swindon Council is set to lose more than a million pounds in revenue grant, other local authorities – including Cotswold District Council in Gloucestershire and New Forest in Hampshire – appeared to have escaped revenue cuts.

Coun Edwards said: “I thought there would be cuts for everybody but it looks like some areas don’t appear to have been cut.

“It would be unfair to pick on individual towns, especially those like Swindon that have worked very hard to bring down council tax and make savings.”

The cuts announced yesterday will be imposed between now and next March, with further reductions expected to be announced for future financial years at a later date. Wiltshire Council will also see its revenue grant cut by at least £2.71m.

Shadow Communities Secretary John Denham said: “The Government have decided to do these cuts in a way which hit more deprived areas hardest.”