Wolverhampton City Council approves £123m cuts

'Painful' cuts and plans to axe up to 2,000 council jobs in Wolverhampton were approved tonight.

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Councillor Roger Lawrence, Councillor Andrew Johnson and chief finance officer Mark Taylor

Councillors met to discuss plans to try to save up to £123 million over the next five years.

Wolverhampton City Council also agreed a near two per cent increase in council tax - the first hike since 2009.

The move will effectively throw away a grant from the Government worth £800,000 as an incentive to freeze the rates again.

A total of 41 councillors voted to back the budget while 13 were against it and one abstained.

Reporter Peter Madeley gave live updates from the meeting. See how it unfolded here:

But it will mean the cash-strapped authority can raise twice that by imposing the maximum increase it is allowed to without holding a costly referendum.

The plans are set to see library opening hours drastically reduced.

Some such as Whitmore Reans, will be open just 15 hours a week.

Staff are also facing further cuts which will see their full time hours reduced from 37 a week to 35.

It comes after the authority revealed in October last year that 1,000 jobs were under threat. That figure rose to 1,400 in December before jumping again to 2,000 last month.

Parking charges are also under review with Sunday charges expected to be introduced and a controversial evening charge brought back.

Plans have also been set out to increase the price of school meals by 8p, although schools will decide whether or not to pass that cost on to parents. The council recommends they charge £2.10 in most schools or £2 in nurseries.

The council’s outdoor events budget will be reduced and cameras will be installed to fund highway maintenance from fines.

Wolverhampton City Council will now slash £1.6million from groups across the city as it struggles to cope with crippling budget shortfalls.

The council says it has lost £147 million in government grants due to cuts imposed by the Coalition.

It is the equivalent of 52 per cent of its funding.

Councillor Andrew Johnson, finance spokesman for the ruling Labour group, said: "None of us want to be doing this.

"We are having to do it because we have to deliver a balanced budget despite how hard the Government has hit Wolverhampton.

"We are being forced to implement the cuts they have made."

See also: Wolverhampton City Council approves £123m cuts plan

Wolverhampton City Council staff devastated as huge cuts laid bare

Comments for: "Wolverhampton City Council approves £123m cuts"

pauleneg

here we go again! - change the record Labour, you are as usual playing the blame game and accusing the Government of the day (unless I must admit they are pretty useless themselves) for the cuts yopu are having to inflict. Actually it is years of Labour's profligate spending on wasteful pet schemes schemes such as the so-called "fountain" in Queen Square, which is mostly used for kids having a wash and other sllighly dubious activities.

How much did that cost Mr Lawrence? I bet the figure you wasted would have saved at least 10 jobs today! This feature does nothing to improve the City Centre, might as well not have bothered! City centre's bereft of any decent department stores with the exceptionof House of Fraser, and I did wonder how long this will be open. Dont winge now just accept your fate, although of course, it is not the likes of Mr L:awrence and Mr Johnson who are going to lose their jobs is it? never mind, looks like the plans for doing up the Civic Centre will now have to be rubbished!

Wasteful Labour Council blaming Government cuts - who would they blame if that wasnt the reason? I wonder.

Blue Boy

2000 people face losing their jobs but only a dozen or so people demonstrating at the Civic - if they don't care why should we?

Thomas

Introducing Sunday parking charges perhaps. Typical. Tell you what councillors ... you can stick your town centre

charlie.bear.5836

Any chance of a commemorative DVD of all the local council budget cut meetings being made available so that those of us too busy to be able to attend can enjoy them too?

Chr1s23

A|ll these cuts and new apprentices start on Monday?

Come on council - WAKE UP - reduce the number of Councillors per ward - that will save a lot!

You make staff redundant - now make a third of staff redundant - may I suggest Mr. Lawrence & the Mayor to start with?

Stop blaming Cameron the millionaire - do something positive RESIGN!!!!!! (and take him with you)

Jacko

Number of councillors reduced = ZERO.

Amount of councillors allowances reduced = ZERO.

Number of senior council employees salary reductions = ZERO

Council employees increase in pension contributions = ZERO

They are laughing all the way to the bank......and probably the COOP ! That other superbly run Labour Party affiliated organisation.

They used to say that the Labour Party owed more to Methodism than Marxism. Now it owes more to ketamine, cocaine and never-held-a proper-job-in-their lives people.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair is in his counting house counting his millions.

Alistair Campbell is not drawing up another dodgy dossier, though he is probably writing another book making him millions saying how he did not write the first dodgy dossier.

Harman. Hewitt and Dromey deny aiding the Paedophile Information Exchange.

Otherwise all's well that ends.......

Pity the latest asteroid sped by and missed the town hall when they were all meeting.

Danimal

I bet the Grand Theatre are worried.

No need for a Pantomime this year we already have one in the Kremlin

Where's all the money gone boys and girls?

It's behind you.

Oh no it's not.

Oh no it's actually not.

Quick start rubbing that lamp and planting the magic beans.