Wolverhampton council boss: £25m cuts backed 'with deep regret'

Plans to make up to £25m of cuts at a city council have been backed - with finance chiefs apologising for the pain it may cause.

Wolverhampton Civic Centre
Wolverhampton Civic Centre

Wolverhampton City Council is making £123m of cuts over the next five years.

And it has outlined a series of proposals - still subject to consultation and full council approval- to save up to £25m in 2015 to 2016.

Finance boss Councillor Andrew Johnson last night told a cabinet meeting: "We do not wish to do this because they go to the heart of the services we provide to the public but they are the direct result of unprecedented cuts in Government grants to this council.

"Those grants for 2015/16 have almost been reduced by half and the council will have to reduce what it spends by a third. This is not the result of savings this council wants to make.

"We have no choice if we want to balance the books.

"But we do this with deep regret because no part of the council is left untouched by the savings we are being forced to make."

The latest proposals include charging for some exhibitions at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, cutting £100,000 of funding from Blakenhall Community and Healthy Living Centre while trying to save £230,000 on food waste collections by negotiating a new deal with contractor Amey.

There are also plans to overhauling short break respite care for adults to save £100,000, cut £199,000 from the Old Tree Nursery garden centre which is staffed by adults with learning disabilities and axe the city's 18 remaining neighbourhood wardens.

Around 2,000 jobs are having to be axed at the council over the next five years.

But when its budget for the next 12 months was drawn up it still had to find £59m of those cuts, despite having already reduced opening hours of libraries and shutting most of its youth clubs in a series of controversial measures.

The council wants to find £25m of those savings in the 2015/16 financial year but Coun Johnson warned that they are still be £6.9m short of the target even if all the latest suggestions are introduced from April of next year as proposed.

Comments for: "Wolverhampton council boss: £25m cuts backed 'with deep regret'"

Ricky Tee

Maybe if they didn't waste it in the first place when we had reserves in place this would not be happening? #itsourwolverhampton

charlie17

This subject is like perpetual motion it keeps coming back, the same headlines, the same comments from the council but the figures never add up. Everyone who reads the newspaper knows the country is heavily in debt. It is easy for the Government of the day to reinstate the subsidies, all they have to do is increase the income tax rates and reduce the tax threshold back to the levels when they came to power. The Council itself could raise the money by having a referendum but they know they would not be supported. Another route would be to tax the rich, but they would find somewhere else to live. Higher tax on industry and they would move making more people unemployed. I personally think all civil servants earning over £100,000 a year should take a 20% pay cut. If they are not happy, let then try to find another job paying more than their new salary.

middley

Wasn't this the council that was left £44 million reserve from the last administration ? so where has that gone for starters ? Until people see that REAL cuts to fat cat managers numbers and wage scales are cut then we can't take it seriously, then reduce the number of councillors per ward and their pay and expenses, reduce or stop the overseas "jollies" er sorry fact finding missions, countless free parties throughout the year, then we will join you, until then not a chance !

david.dudley.942

Typical of how Wolverhampton has been run, apologies are to late, all the council need clearing out they have held Wolverhampton back for years and now look at it all this while still managing to waste money. Too little too late call us a city I hope they are proud of the mess they have made.