Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Brutal budget cuts

Council leaders at Manchester Town Hall have said about 830 jobs could go Photo: Eamonn and James Clarke/Eamonn and James Clarke/EMPICS Entertainment

Council tax will go up and swimming pools and libraries could be closed in Manchester’s latest round of harsh council cuts.

At least 830 jobs will be lost if an £80m new savings package is approved today.

Council tax will also be hiked by 3.7 per cent. Thats an average of extra £2.68 a month people will be paying from April.

Public bonfire displays could be axed altogether, saving £25,000 a year. Council bosses hope to find sponsors for the events instead.

Green bin collections would go fortnightly between September and March and some city-centre parking charges could rise .

The Council has already had to make £170m of savings between 2011 and 2013. Now, following the latest financial settlement from central government, the Council must address a further funding gap of around £80m by 2014/15.

The £80m is around £50m in central funding cuts and £30m in unavoidable cost pressures caused by factors such as inflation, a growing population – with extra demands on services for older people, people with learning disabilities and those with mental health and physical disabilities.

In the financial settlement for 2011-13, Manchester was the fifth hardest hit local authority in the country despite having the fourth highest level of deprivation.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester has again been one of the places hit the hardest by the government's financial settlement.

"It is inescapable that the funding gap we have been left with, coming as it does on top of the severe budget reductions imposed on us in the previous two years, means the Council has to make very real cuts and at the same time make fundamental changes to the way it operates."

Manchester has frozen its Council Tax for the last three financial years. The council say that even taking into account the proposed rise, it would remain one of the lowest average bills nationally.

Roughly half the savings and job losses – around £40m and 400 posts – will come from merging two of the council’s biggest directorates, for children’s and adults’ services.

A final proposal will go before councillors on Wednesday, March 6.

More on this story