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500 Wolverhampton Council jobs could go as authority seeks huge savings

By Alex Ross | Wolverhampton | Politics | Published:

Residents in Wolverhampton could also see their council tax bills rise by 4.99 per cent.

Up to 500 people employed by Wolverhampton Council could lose their jobs

Up to 500 jobs are at risk at Wolverhampton Council as the authority faces its 'most significant financial challenge ever'.

Council tax could also rise by 4.99 per cent.

The council must save £28.3 million by the end of 2019/20.

But today, it was revealed that on top of that, finance bosses have drawn up £5.4m worth of savings which need to be agreed on before the end of March.

And that still leaves a £6m budget deficit before the new financial year.

Councillor Louise Miles, the cabinet member for resources, said: “The national picture in terms of government funding shows no sign of improving and the demand for our services continues to rise.

"This means we have no choice but to continue to find ways to save money and raise income."

The £5.4m worth of savings include £4.7m from a review of council service contracts and an investment in technology.

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As a result, up to 500 jobs are at risk. Trade unions have already been contacted.

The council employs around 4,000 people, but has already lost 2,000 employees over the past eight years.

The remainder of the planned £5.4m cuts will come from £650,000 worth of savings the public will be consulted on.

They include potentially introducing more resident parking schemes and reviewing the running of the One Stop Toilet – the city centre's only council-run public toilet.

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Looking ahead to next year, the council has also proposed increasing tax by 4.99 per cent, in the hope of raising an extra £5m.

This year the tax was increased by 3.99 per cent.

In a stark warning, the report from the council estimates that savings of up to £50m are needed over the next five years.

It says: "Due to uncertainty, the council current faces, it is difficult to establish a medium-term financial strategy beyond 2019/20."

Earlier this week the Express & Star revealed the authority's debt would grow to more than £1billion in two years' time.

A consultation on the needed savings will begin at the end of the month.

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
Investigations Editor - @alexross_star

Investigations Editor at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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