Libraries, support for adults to improve skills and English classes are once again facing the axe as Moray Council faces up to further budget cuts.
The services were due to be stopped in February when financial plans were set for the year, but were given a reprieve amid calls to investigate further.
Now their future is in doubt yet again with councillors due to meet this week to agree more savings to stave off bankruptcy for the authority.
Moray Council has already agreed about £10million worth of cuts this year with the latest proposals expected to save a further £220,000.
The measures include reducing the opening hours at libraries in Lossiemouth, Burghead, Dufftown and Fochabers from a weekly total of 96 hours to just 44.
Meanwhile, the Essential Skills service for adults to help improve writing, spelling and maths skills could also be stopped and ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) classes will only be continued for Syrian refugees due to Home Office rules.
However, council leader Graham Leadbitter said further talks due to be held ahead of Wednesday’s meeting could reduce the need to make as many savings.
He said: “It’s something of a moving feast at the moment. The funding arrangements for councils may change at a national level.
“It’s hard to say what will happen in the next few months. The picture may change, it may be positive, but it’s very hard to tell at the moment.
“We’re working with community planning partners to try and find the best way forward for ESOL and with the libraries we’ve tried to keep them open when they’re busiest as the least drastic option.”
Moray College UHI is currently considering setting up mixed-ability classes in Elgin and Forres to fill the gap left by the potential withdrawal of authority-run ESOL sessions.
The council has also reported declining referrals for the Essential Skills tuition due to uncertainty surrounding the service’s future.
In a report ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, the authority’s acting principal librarian Rona Stephen said the impact on the three services would result in one compulsory redundancy.
She said: “The delay in reaching a decision on these potential savings has resulted in a reduction in the savings made during 2019/20 and any further delay will further reduce this saving.
“At this stage no alternative savings are identified and the difficulty of identifying new savings should not be underestimated.”