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Free garden waste service axed as city digs in for ‘painful’ £102m cuts plan

Free garden waste service axed as city digs in for ‘painful’ £102m cuts plan

🕔07.Feb 2013

wasteCharges for garden waste collection and an end to free refuse sacks were the two surprise elements of an otherwise widely rehearsed £102 million Birmingham City Council cuts package.

City leader Sir Albert Bore spoke of “difficult and painful decisions” taken by the controlling Labour group in response to a 10.5 per cent cut in Government funding for 2013-14.

The Chancellor’s assault on local government finances will reduce the council’s core budget by about 50 per cent between 2011 and 2016, leaving Sir Albert with little option but to slash spending across the board.

About 1,000 council jobs are expected to disappear over the next year on top of 5,500 lost since 2010, effectively trimming the non-schools workforce by a quarter.

The one glimmer of hope – freezing council tax bills for the next year – was, ironically, only made possible by a special Government grant to councils.

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Sir Albert also confirmed a £15 million fund to encourage employers to offer jobs and apprenticeships to young people. A major theme of the year ahead will be to “improve the life chances of young people and support them in these difficult times”, he added.

Although the most significant cuts are to be found in the Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) directorate, there are plenty of politically sensitive savings flowing from Sir Albert’s package.

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