THE leader of Solihull Council has vowed to confront the Government over the funding announced for Solihull.
Speaking at the final cabinet meeting of the year, Councillor Ian Hedley said: “I think we should have a cross-party delegation, and go to the ministers in their lair.”
Cabinet members discussed the drastic reduction in grants, and said they felt that – once again – the borough was getting a raw deal and criticised the Government for ‘kicking Solihull while it’s down.’
The council’s budget will have to be slashed by around 10 per cent next year – that’s somewhere in the region of £15-16 million.
It follows Secretary of State Eric Pickles’ announcement revealing how much money each authority will get.
“We need to speak to someone, whether that’s Eric Pickles or Vince Cable, and tell them that this isn’t on,” said Coun Hedley.
Fellow Lib Dem, Len Cresswell, admitted that there was “no fat left to cut”.
Labour’s David Jamieson, cabinet member for transport, said the “swingeing cuts” were as bad as anywhere.
And Conservative leader, Coun Ken Meeson, agreed that Solihull had been hit hard – but added that it was nothing new: “We have been badly treated and I think we should say so.”
Councillors will need to agree between now and March exactly where they can make the savings.
What £15m could pay for:
* A project to get Concorde back in the air.
* Top-end tuition fees for 555 students.
* One and a quarter Tudor Grange Leisure Centres.