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Leeds City Council proposed budget changes at-a-glance

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.

This has been by far the hardest budget to set in my time on the council and we want to be up front with people about the scale of the challenge we are facing and what these changes will mean. Making decisions which we know will be unpopular over price increases and budget cuts is not something any of us wanted to make, but the position is now so difficult we have had no choice but to look at areas we had previously avoided.

– Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield

Leeds City Council warns of 'painful decisions' to meet budget cuts

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.

Again this year the statistics show that Leeds has been hit harder than all the other core cities except one in terms of funding from the government. As a result in order to do all we can to protect essential services we have had to look at making decisions which previously we would have considered unthinkable. We are doing all we can to keep the impact of these changes to a minimum, but at the same time we also have a firm commitment to growth, embracing new ideas and working together to deliver a strong future for Leeds.

– Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield

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£600,000 compensation bill for Leeds' potholes

Potholes road in Leeds
Potholed road in Leeds Credit: Sarah Clark

Leeds City Council has paid out more than £600,000 compensation claims caused by potholes in the last five years. More than 1,600 claims were lodged during that time - but only a fraction have actually been settled.

Last year, 355 claims were made by drivers for personal injury claims or car repairs - but only 55 have been settled. In 2010, one injury claim attracted more than twenty six thousand pounds.

Council closes buildings over festive period

Leeds City Council is trialling a festive shutdown of buildings that are in low or no demand over the Christmas period as one of the ways of looking to save money. Non-essential services will be closed so as to reduce energy and building costs from midnight 23 December to midnight 1 January 2013.

Services with high demand over this period - refuse collection, street cleansing and traffic management - will not be closed Child protection remains a priority and there will be sufficient social work staff in place to deal with all enquiries and new referrals

Similarly the majority of Adult Social Care services will also remain open. a more detailed list of affected services in your area visit www.leeds.gov.ukand click through to the specific service page.

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