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A charity that works with some of the poorest people in Leeds says it is worried that a further £55m of budget cuts at Leeds City Council will affect some of the most needy people in the city's communities. Mark Law from Barca says they will hit low earners and lone parents, among others.
The leader of Leeds City Council says this year's budget is the hardest one he was worked on. Councillor Keith Wakefield says some of the decisions about reducing services to find £55m of savings would have been previously unthinkable.
Leeds City Council says it needs to find an extra 55 million pounds worth of savings over the next 12 months. Some services could be cut back and charges for using others could be increased as officials try to balance their budget. James Webster's been looking at the figures.
Leeds City Council will discuss details of its budget for the next financial year at a meeting on Friday 15 February before it is approved later in the month. Current proposals to help find a further £54.9m of savings include:
- Increasing council house rents, garage rents and service charges by 5.9%
- Children's nursery fees to be increased by £2 a day
- Above-inflation rise in council fees and charges
- Sport charges to increase by around 4%
- School clothing allowances to end
- Bereavement charges to increase by 7.5%
- Review of evening and Sunday parking charges
- Review of adult social care services which are currently free
- New or increased charges for council events
- End some elements of free home to school/college travel from September 2013
- Seasonal closures of heritage facilities
The council says its decisions have been influenced by a survey of 2000 people who called for culture and leisure services to be cut the most. Those questioned wanted children's services to be protected and said parking and leisure centre prices could generate more income.
Leeds City Council's leader has warned of painful decisions trying to find a further £55m of budget cuts over the next financial year. Councillor Keith Wakefield says the key theme of spending for 2013/14 will be "protecting essential services by making painful decisions we can no longer avoid."
In the two years since the government began its public spending review Leeds City Council has found £145m of savings. During the next financial year £54.9m extra has to be saved from the budget. 334 full time jobs will go and other proposals include service reductions and extra charges.