Nottingham City Council goes to consultation on cuts to 2022/23 budgets.
Nottingham City Council is set to go out to public consultation on £12.2m of savings, which include closing six children’s centres.
The Labour-run authority has a plan to fill a funding gap of £12.2m over the next year, and will need to save another £15.7m – although it has not set out how it will save this second sum.
At an Executive Board meeting on Tuesday, November 16, councillors agreed to launch the eight-week consultation on a range of plans to fill the large £12.2m void in its budget.
The authority is planning to reduce the frequency of some Link bus services as well as increasing fares for the Medilink service, which takes staff and patients to hospital.
Other plans include charging residents to take away their bulky waste and introducing a residents’ parking permit charging scheme – which means motorists will have to pay £35 for having a second vehicle and £50 for a third.
CITY COUNCIL CUTS – RELATED POSTS
The council also plans to close public toilets at the Victoria Embankment and introduce a charge at the Greyhound Street toilets just off Old Market Square.
There are also plans to cut 91 full-time posts at the council, of which 23 are currently vacant.
Council Tax will also rise by 1.99 per cent and the authority will also implement the Government’s one per cent social care precept.
Cllr Sam Webster (Lab), portfolio holder for finance, said: “Some of these proposals will bring in new income to fund services and some will reduce services and make efficiencies, and some will reduce funding to external partner organisations.”
He said 80 per cent of houses in Nottingham were in low bands such as A and B and therefore money raised from Council Tax is not as high as wealthier areas.
He added: “Nottingham’s council tax income is one of the lowest in the country. Our funding is flat but the cost of running services is rising. We can’t afford to deliver all our services next year as we are currently.”
He also said there was “a social care crisis” which makes up “the vast bulk of the revenue spending”.
Adult social care and child social care taking up a combined £155m of the council’s £240m overall budget.
The authority has also been left £19.4m out of pocket through not being fully compensated for income lost as a result of tackling Covid-19, he added.
Cllr David Mellen (Lab), leader of the council, said: “It will be a genuine consultation for eight weeks to take the views of people who live and work in our city and voluntary and faith organisations.
“We will do what we can to explain and listen to people’s concerns about the proposals that are being put forward.
“I have had letters and comments on social media; people are rightly concerned about what is in here.
“People are concerned about if we cut youth and play – will it not be the case these statutory services will have a greater demand on them?”
He said it had “come to a point” where the council can no longer protect these services due to the demand on areas such as adult and child social care.