Protesters chant outside Birmingham City Council as councillors vote on £300m cuts to services

A protest is being held outside Birmingham City Council Credit: ITV News Central

A protest is being held outside Birmingham City Council while the council votes on £300million worth of cuts to services over two years.

At a full budget council meeting today (Tuesday 5 March), councillors will make a decision on proposed cuts to local services, a year after effectively declaring itself bankrupt.

Among the most drastic changes that residents will feel is a 9.99% increase to council tax for the next two years, meaning that by 2026 council tax would increase by 21%.

This means that if you're on the lowest rate of council tax in Birmingham, you'd be paying £1524.58, up from £1270.48.

Birmingham City Council has also requested a £1.25 billion bailout to the Government, to help balance the books.

The protest has been jointly organised by the GMB, UNITE and UNISON unions and is expected to attract a couple of hundred people outside the council house

Protestors say the aim is not to disrupt this meeting but to call on the Council to demand more funding from the Government and to suspend the service cuts being experienced by the most vulnerable.

One protestor said: "We are protesting for awareness, people don't realise that the things that people enjoy day to day rely on council. The hardest hit are always the charities.

"The money in the pot is just not being spent on the right things."

Protestors chant 'stop arts cuts' outside Birmingham City Council House Credit: ITV News Central

What are the major changes?

  • Fortnightly, rather than weekly, bin collections starting next year.

  • Reduced spending on highways maintenance - this means less money spent on roads, pavements and cycle paths.

  • Increased cost of death - burial prices will increase by 13.25% and the cost to buy a grave will increase by more than 10%.

  • Almost £24million will be cut from adult social care.

  • Less money for culture. This means grants to organisations including the Birmingham REP Theatre, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and IKON Gallery will be cut 50% this year and 100% next year.

  • Support for Black History Month and Birmingham Heritage Week will face an 100% cut in council funding from next year.

  • Dimmed streetlights - streetlights will be less bright in order to save £900,000.

  • Reduced grounds maintenance.

  • Reducing mobile rubbish and recycling lorries.

  • Abandoning plans for neighbourhood action coordinators. This was a pilot scheme that focused on community safety and the local environment in Birmingham.

  • Leisure centres in Birmingham will focus on profits and review discount schemes and opening hours.

  • Council-run community centres will be at risk as the council will look to stop running these facilities.

  • The council is also proposing that some council buildings will be closed.

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