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Jobs escape the budget cuts axe

NO jobs will go at Solihull Council, despite the local authority having to slash its budget by 10 per cent.

NO jobs will go at Solihull Council, despite the local authority having to slash its budget by 10 per cent.

Plans to cut over £15m were approved by cabinet last week, with councillors welcoming news that there wouldn’t be redundancies.

But though the local authority has made the required savings this time, there was a sense of unease about what would happen in years to come.

Solihull has saved £50m over five years and is looking to make another £12m cuts in 12 months time.

Council leader Ian Hedley said: “Let’s be honest, it’s going to be very tough this year. With the savings we need to make, it won’t be a cakewalk.

“But this is a budget that will protect frontline services and the most vulnerable people in the borough.”

He said the council had listened to the feedback from over 1,000 residents, who attempted to balance the figures online.

However, the local authority has resisted calls to make the heaviest cuts to libraries and leisure services with the biggest cuts - £4 million - falling on childrens services.

Coun Tim Hodgson, cabinet member for the environment, was pleased there would be no council tax increase: “It’s important to protect services, but also not put the burden on residents when the economy is in such a state.”

But Coun David Jamieson, cabinet member for transport, warned that the savings couldn’t continue indefinitely.

“We’re really on the cusp of what we can cope with and other local authorities are beyond that,” he said.

“The only thing we’re promised is that it’s going to get harder year on year. This is just the beginning.

“If we continue then we will struggle to maintain the services that Solihull people have come to expect.”

The budget will go to Full Council on March 1.

 

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