Birmingham City Council cuts jobs and services
Birmingham City Council is to face job losses and lose services, as £600m of cuts are forced through by 2017.
Labour council leader Sir Albert Bore today announced that the authority would be forced to implement cuts “across the board” in order to make the required savings.
He explained how other savings would be made, saying "With the extent of the cuts over the past few years and with more to come, we have to start decommissioning services,".
"This is the end of local government as we have known it.”
February saw councillors vote in £62m of cuts for the 2012-13 budget, despite warnings that this could impact upon 1,100 jobs. 2013-14’s savings are set at £120m.
The latest round of budget cuts is totalled at around £60m to £70m, depending on potential reductions in grants from central government.
Sir Albert said that Birmingham council were expecting to make a full £600m of savings between 2012 and March 2017. A workforce of around 19,000 full time staff members is set to reduce to under 15,000 in the period.
The leader laid the blame for the City’s "horrendous" financial situation upon central government. Birmingham has seen cuts in grants over many years, which Sir Albert claims do not take into account inflation, population changes and other variable costs.
However, the government say that Birmingham is well placed compared with other cities. There is £2,576 to spend on each household, slightly above the English average of £2,186.
A statement from the Communities and Local Government Department said: "Birmingham is already getting government help to grow its local economy, through a city deal worth £1.5bn, the New Homes Bonus, an Enterprise Zone and £22m in Growing Places Funding.
"In addition, the government will support a third year's council tax freeze - potentially worth over £200 to Band D residents."
"Given councils account for a quarter of all public spending, it is vital they continue to play their part in tackling the inherited budget deficit by making sensible savings."