Birmingham City Council faces cuts of £87m from its 2014-2015 budget and must save £840m before the 2017-1018 financial year and is due to cut 1,080 jobs.
Birmingham City Council will be forced to shed £87m from its 2014-2015 budget in the move to tighten national spending. The council have been forced to save £840m before the 2017-1018 financial year. In order to do this, Birmingham council will cut around 1,080 jobs and try to renegotiate their Capita Service IT contract. The renegotiation will hopefully save at least £20m from the budget.
The council is looking to save money by cutting less essential areas of the budget. This will have a particular impact on the environment within Birmingham. 32 park keepers will be made redundant, as well as rangers and grass cutters. Thus parks will be less well maintained as they have been before. Additionally, the council will end free large waste collection. This effort hopes to save £1m over the course of the year.
Councillors hope that if they work with the NHS, schools and other public services, they will be able to share resources. This will save money as the council will not have to pay for each of these public services to have their own resources, but will lead to a shortage.
Birmingham City Council is one of the worst hit councils in terms of budget cuts. The council must reduce their expenditure by 14.5% over the year. The average council in the UK will be asked to cut 2.9% of their budget from 2014-2015. Birmingham is far above this average. Previously, the council believed these cuts would amount to 10%.
Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council declared this ‘the end of local government as I’ve known it’ in his media briefing at Birmingham’s Future and Budget Consultation 2014-2015 last month. He expressed fears that a time will come when services are decommissioned completely.
The leader was pleased to announce that despite budget cuts, the council were planning to invest £36m to build six new swimming pools in Birmingham, and an additional £10m in safeguarding children.
However he warns that from next year there front line services that will be forced to close down. Without further speculation as to what the budget cut figures will be for the 2015-2016 budget cuts, it is unknown how many services will be disbanded to make ends meet. The leader also did not mention any possible reductions in jobs over the next few years either. Budget cuts will continue throughout the financial year 2017-2018.