Council leader criticises austerity amid £250 million budget cuts

The newly-elected Birmingham City Council leader spoke to ITV News Central about the proposals today Credit: ITV News Central

Birmingham city council will cut £90 million from its budget nextyear, with a large proportion of this money coming from the adultsocial care bill.

£20 million will be cut from adult social care services and thecouncil plans to close two day care centres.

It's all part of a move towards encouraging people in Birmingham tobecome more independent.

The council is still to discuss the proposals, but hopes to increase council tax by two per cent to help fund adult social care. This is on top of a further two per cent rise to add to the council's budget.

Council leader John Clancy says he's committed to doing this to help pay social care workers the living wage.

The council's plan for a more independent society faces a furtherchallenge with over £11 million expected to be cut from their publichealth grant from the government.

This will see a "reduction in expenditure particularly in lifestyle services such as weight management, smoking cessation, and promotion of healthy living".

Smoking cessation services are also earmarked for cuts Credit: PA

Cllr Clancy says this is something he has no control over, and it willinevitably make the to move towards independent living in Birminghammore difficult. He said, "It's a false economy in the extreme and willlead to further cuts down the line."

The council itself will face cuts to its own workforce. It expects to lose 1,200jobs over the next year, and emphasised that this means that thenumber of people working for the council will have halved since 2010,from 20,00 to 10,000:

The Council will have to save £250 million from its budget by 2020, sofurther cuts are expected on an annual basis. Cllr Clancy said thesize and continuity of these cuts is a sign that "Government austerityisn't working".