Cuts Watch #376: Manchester City Council publishes proposed budget cuts
Further to my previous post highlighting the 2,000 jobs being lost, details are now emerging of the cuts to be made by Manchester City Council. The council has today published its proposed budget for 2011/12, setting out how it will make £109 million of savings over the next financial year, rising to £170m in 2012/13. This will be considered by its Executive on Wednesday 16 February.
Manchester City Council say that the scale and speed of the savings required means they can no longer be achieved through efficiencies alone.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said:
I cannot and will not pretend that the financial position in which we have been placed is anything other than bad news. Manchester is the fourth most deprived local authority area in the country but is among the top five hardest hit local authorities.
In summary, the cuts being proposed are:
- Adult Services – savings of £39.5m, 21% of the adults budget has been identified for cuts.
- Social care support will be focused on the most vulnerable, the eligibility criteria will be more strictly defined and charges for services provided will be reassessed.
- Supporting People grant – this allows the Council to help people in need stay in their homes – the budget has been reduced by £12.6m (35%), although the Council will top this up by £4m.
- Children’s services will be cut by 26% – (£45.1m) – however social workers for vulnerable children will be increased.
- Council will cease to directly provide many youth services – for example, transferring the responsibility for running youth centres to partner agencies such as voluntary groups.
- Transfer the universal provision of early year’s activities, including Sure Start facilities, to external partners.
- Neighbourhood services – £31.2m of savings have been identified, representing 29% of the neighbourhood services budget. This will include: changes to the waste and recycling services; a review of library services including the potential closure of five small libraries; review of library opening hours; and a review of parking controls including charging and Sunday restrictions will be undertaken.
- All public toilets will close, except those on Mount Street, and swimming pools at Levenshulme and Miles Platting will shut.
- Funding for charities and voluntary groups will be cut by 22%