Council tax will be frozen as Walsall Council unveils £21m savings plans

Council tax will be frozen while a museum, libraries and day care centres have been spared the axe by a Black Country council, which has unveiled its plans to save £21 million.

Walsall Council House
Walsall Council House

Walsall Council has already scrapped proposals to shut Walsall Museum in the coming year and impose huge rises in fees for sports clubs.

And bosses have now revealed council tax will be frozen - despite warnings last year that it could increase by up to four per cent.

Chiefs have admitted huge savings still need to made across the authority - but they insist they have listened to the public's views during a recent consultation.

Some 277 jobs will be lost - down from the original estimate of 339 - and 127 have already taken voluntary redundancy.

Among the services to be hit will be children's centres, which will have £930,000 funding cut. Some teachers at the sites will also be laid off to save £320,000.

School bus passes for children with special educational needs are being reviewed to save £200,000.

Cuts 08 JAH 23
Councillor Mike Bird

Burial charges will be increased by up to 5.5 per cent to bring in £165,000, and maintenance at cemeteries will be cut to save £50,000.

Job losses in adult social care will save £250,000, while the use of residential care for short term placements will be scaled back to bring in £500,000.

Residential beds at the Broadway North Resource Centre are closing to save £100,000 despite an outcry from service users.

But plans to reduce the number of day care centres have been thrown out following complaints.

The council was originally planning to cut £19m from its budget in the coming year - but that has now increased by another £2m.

Bosses say this is because savings from previous years had to be carried over.

Under the plans, due to go before the full council on Thursday evening, council tax for a Band D property will remain at £1,410.26 a year.

Council leader Councillor Mike Bird said today: "We made a deliberate decision to protect families and households with the lowest incomes in our last budget.

"This has not been easy and some tough decisions have been made. There's no escaping that. But we've worked to ring fence as much as we can the things that people tell us that they most want us to keep.

"We're very proud to say that there's no library closures, no children's centre and no leisure centre closures."

Comments for: "Council tax will be frozen as Walsall Council unveils £21m savings plans"

sirskynet

People in Wolverhampton should look at Walsall in envy!

paul_white

"£930,000 saving on childrens centres" "teachers laid off, saving £320,000" but "no childrens centre closures" so has there been an awful waste of money up until now? Or will childrens centres be suffering?

We will see what happens in due course I suppose.

UKIP spoke out against the museum closure and it has been saved, another sign that UKIP are setting the agenda both locally and nationally.

Perhaps it is time for UKIP? The party who speak common sense, the party who truly represent the people!