Wolverhampton council cuts to hit thousands

More than 20,000 people in Wolverhampton will be hit with bills of up to £200 a year under a new wave of council cuts revealed today.

Charges for some services could also rise, while there will be a recruitment freeze for staff, a blitz on sickness rates and a reduction in the use of agency staff.

The city council had been planning to absorb a £3.4 million cut in government funding to pay council tax benefit to people of working age.

But bosses today pulled the plug and revealed they would have to pursue people who were previously eligible to have their council tax paid for them. The bill will amount to around 20 per cent of a normal annual council tax demand.

It comes as the council revealed its savings target for the next five years had risen from £44m to £56.6m.

Other measures due to be enforced next year include a possible 10 per cent rise in fees and charges for some council services, a recruitment freeze and a tighter control of sickness absence.

The proposed cuts so far amount to almost £9m but Labour finance councillor Andrew Johnson warned there was still a £10.3m hole to fill in 2013/14, with more cuts still to be drawn up.

He said: “We went out to consultation on continuing to give council tax benefit despite a government cut.

“We’re now having to work on a new recommendation to pass on the cut to claimants who would previously have been entitled to council tax benefit.”

Around 35,000 people claim council tax benefit but 42 per cent of these are pensioners and would not be affected by the change.

The cut relates to 20,300 working age people.

Neighbouring South Staffordshire Council is also planning to pass on the government cut to residents.

By Political Editor Daniel Wainwright

Comments for: "Wolverhampton council cuts to hit thousands"

indian

feel sorry for the people losing their jobs and not getting a pay rise, but get the lazy idle fiddling single moms and their chaps off their backsides and work. too many single moms/dads / incapacity benefits out there in wolverhampton. scumbags no other word just scumbags...

Danimal

Are Wolverhampton Council still planning to spend £15 million or what ever ridiculous amount it was refurbishing the Kremlin? I sincerely hope not.

wonderwolf

It is no surprise that this proposed increase has come off the back of significant pay increases annouced for the majority of council staff, following single status agreements. The rest of the public sector is going through major resource consolidation and restructuring to provide efficiencies and costs savings - the fact that the savings targets for the Council has had to be increased does call into question how seriously the Authority are addressing these issues.

anna

Nice timing, just as MP's are in for a rise of 50% (from £65,000 to £92,000) and MP's tax-free expenses have risen by 25% this year (from ave £134,000 to £165,000 each); No doubt this 'Robin Hood in reverse',stealing from the poor and giving the already obscenely wealthy, will see Councillors' allowances and expenses rise by similar amounts ! Damn disgrace;