12 January 2009

£61 million cuts and counting - Tories have more in store

£32 million of new cuts in spending on local services have been unveiled by H&F Tory council over the next three years. That makes £61 million cut since 2007 - one-third of the council's budget.

And more cuts are in prospect as the Tories keep their plans for tax and spending in 2011-12 up their sleeves for another 'secret budget' in advance of the 2010 council elections.

The first spending cuts to be scrutinised this week by councillors will hit education and children's services.

Schools will be badly affected. Over the next three years the Tories are cutting £1 million from schools' funding, which means schools will have to cut teachers. The council is also cutting £1m from out of school childcare. They also expect to cut £250k from privatising school meals - if not schools will have to pay more. Cut again will be music, dance and uniform discretionary grants. And the council wants to pass on to schools £600k of human resources costs.

Other cuts planned include:
* Housing rents go up 6%, heating charges 20%
* Most charges for council services to go up 5% (even though council itself has allowed less than 2% for inflation)
* Lots more jobs to go (parking staff can look forward to moving to Rochdale)
* New charges for household waste collections
* Further charity rate relief withdrawal

* More cuts stories to follow - please send details to hfconwatch@hotmail.co.uk

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