Radio Sandwell Local News

1,200 jobs axed as Birmingham City Council unveils yet more cuts

2015-12-10 13:10:40

Lollipop LadySpending on school crossing patrols is set to be cut in Birmingham

Birmingham City Council has announced a £90 million cuts package leading to 1,200 job losses next year.

The council tax is also set to rise by four per cent, adding £46 per year to the average household bill.

The council's budget, which goes out for consultation today, includes details of £258 million cuts over the next four years.

Major savings are planned through combining forces with the NHS on care services for the elderly, including a £20 million cut already negotiated for 2016/17.

The aim is to reduce dependence on acute and residential care and encourage more independent living.

Negotiations will also take place with trade unions over changes to workers' terms and conditions such as reductions in sick pay and increasing hours in the working week.

While the council will look to cut spending on school crossing patrols, lollipop ladies and men, by asking schools to, pay for them or looking at alternative road safety measures. 
While more children with special needs will be asked to swap home to school mini buses and taxis for public transport, bikes or family lifts to save money.

New council leader John Clancy stressed that many services would have to be picked up by partners such as the NHS, schools and charities.

He said: "We have to start doing things differently with other people, other agencies, most specifically with the NHS, and health sector.

"This is a very challenging budget and we want to work with the people of Birmingham.

"The scale of the cuts is significant, we have to completely remodel and reimagine the way the city council does things.

"This is the first budget under a Tory majority government, we have to live with these facts and figures for the next few years."

Key budget cut proposals

  • £20 million (rising to £60 million by 2020) redesign of adult and elderly care through closer working with the NHS and GP to reduce duplication and encourage independent living
  • £10 million (rising to £16 million) staffing efficiencies such as reducing use of agency staff, consultants and more agile working
  • £15 million (from 2017) changes to staff contracts including working hours, holidays and sick pay
  • £5 million from 2018 by promoting alternatives to car and cut tax bill for poor air quality
  • £3 million by introducing efficiencies to refuse collection including using chips in bins to cut missed collections and using data to more efficiently run collection routes
  • Increase 'garden tax' green waste charge by £5 from 2017
  • £1.5 million saving by revising street cleaning rounds, swapping routine clean ups for targeted rounds
  • £650,000 by setting up community energy company with established provider offering savings to citizens and income to council
  • £1.4 million by handing over Bartley Green, Great Barr, Colmers and Hamstead leisure centres to schools or community and closures of Moseley, Tiverton and Newtown pools
  • £422,000 by cutting hours at call centre and transferring out of hours emergency calls to contractors
  • £20,000 by increasing or extending parking charges at main Parks including Sutton Park, Cannon Hill, Lickey Hills, Perry Park and Edgbaston Reservoir
  • £500,000 (rising to £881,000) by removing funding for school crossing patrols. School could pay or look at other measures such as 20mph zones, walking buses and so on to improve safety
  • £2.5 million by reducing spending on taxis and minibuses for children with special needs. They will be encouraged to use alternatives and promote independence
  • £10 million a year by 2020 through disposal or shared use of council buildings
  • £50,000 through increased charges or sale of local car parks
  • £276,000 from 2017 by stopping providing universal "superloos"
  • £58,000 Forward magazine to become online only
  • £2.5 million by cutting spending on IT
  • £379,000 by reducing staff monitoring CCTV cameras
  • £17 million by 2020 through complete overhaul of waste service. Savings through paying off Tyseley incinerator 'mortgage' and new operator contract. Will also look at outsourcing refuse collection
  • £24,000 stop investigating dog cruelty cases, these will be passed to RSPCA or other charities to pick up

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