COUNCIL chiefs in Worcester are appealing for more people to volunteer to run public services - even suggesting they could use CROWDFUNDING to stave off cuts.

Worcestershire County Council is under unprecedented pressure to reduce spending and is currently slashing around £25 million every year.

In recent years it has developed a project called 'Act Local' which encourages people to undertake traditional council tasks for the greater good.

Your Worcester News revealed last year how more than 4,300 volunteers have been recruited to do things like staff libraries, maintain open spaces and drive community transport buses.

Just some of the other pieces of work now done by volunteers include tree wardens, public health walks, the sweeping of public rights of way and even washing and marking finds from archaeological excavations.

Now the council wants to go further, saying the threat of Government funding being cut further means the project must expand.

It was debated during a meeting of the corporate and communities overview and scrutiny panel at County Hall - where the progress made so far was laid down.

Neil Anderson, the council's head of cultural and community services, said: "Things don't happen overnight, and in many cases we've got to wait years to come up with long-term solutions so services people value can become sustainable.

"There is less money in the local government system now and I don't have a magic wand."

During the debate officers revealed efforts are being made to beef the project up, including making the Act Local section of the council's website better.

"This whole thing is about how we can best provide resilience out there and encourage people who want to get the involved," he said.

"We know there's less money in the public purse, that's a reality nationally, so we need to look at people who need and use council services and ask, is there a new approach we can take with them."

Frances Howie, head of public health at the council, said: "We want people to look at the website and if they say 'I want to help children and young people, I live in (postcode) W14', it will automatically link you up to local football clubs in that area."

Mr Anderson told the panel crowdfunding was a possible new solution, saying: "It's a relatively new internet-based way of raising money."

He also told them one of the biggest Act Local successes was libraries, saying the 'at home' service is now fully staffed by volunteers.

* To see the website go HERE.