Cuts Watch #383: Birmingham Council to cut 7,000 jobs
Last week we reported on Manchester City Council’s proposed budget cuts – and now Birmingham’s announcement is the latest in a series of cuts announced by Local Authorities.
The UK’s biggest Local Authority plans to cut more than 7,000 jobs as it faces what it called a “gargantuan challenge” to cut £300m from its spending over the next three years. Birmingham City Council said a total of 4,300 posts would be cut from its 19,00o strong workfce and 3,000 more would be transferred out of the Council into a schools co-operative.
Birmingham City Council has also agreed plans to change employee contracts and end payments for those working anti-social hours. If approved next month, about 26,000 staff could be affected as the council looks to save £212m in 2011/12.
Birmingham Council said that its £300m savings would be front-loaded, so they would need to find £212m – 71% of the total savings target – in the first year from April. Its business plan reveals there will be cuts in children’s and youth services, social care for older people, and leisure centres.
“The message is not so much ‘we are all in this together’, more ‘if you are in need, you’re on your own’. The budget for adults needing care will be cut by £17.5 million and a further £15.7 million will be cut from fees paid to third party providers. 11,000 service users will have their care packages reviewed and in many cases removed.”
He also highlighted cuts in home to school transport, environmental wardens, community safety budgets and cuts in library and leisure services as impacting most on the vulnerable.
Birmingham is also losing millions of pounds in specialist deprivation grants which have been scrapped by the government. It is the 10th most deprived local authority area in England.