Birmingham Council Meeting
“Don’t be young, don’t be ill, don’t be old” were the cries from angry protestors in the public gallery at Tuesday’s Birmingham Council meeting.
The meeting took place to agree on the proposed 212m cuts to be made by the Liberal Democrat/Conservative coalition council to public services in Birmingham. The budget aims to reduce spending by about £330 million over four years, meaning that at least 2,500 full-time council jobs are set to go over the next year.
Some of the protestors were removed from the gallery amist shouts claiming the budget was “a disgrace” when Conservative Councillor Mike Whitby stood to speak.
His speech claimed that “the entire public sector must play their part in rebuilding the economy. Tailing this budget deficit is unavoidable , the decisions are about how we do it are not. The amount you spend on a service does not necessarily measure it’s value or quality.”
He also added that “satisfaction with the council amongst our citizens is at 73%”, which was met by jeers from the Labour Councillors.
The Labour Councillor’s budget amendment that was put forward by Sir Albert Bore, outlining 13m of savings for key services, was voted against by the council as the proposed cuts were agreed on.
Bore insisted that the ”cuts have fallen the hardest on the poorest” and warned that ”those with least will suffer most – contradicting governments policy.”
More than 10,000 full and part-time council employees in Birmingham can expect to have lost their jobs by 2015.
The announcment that council tax is set to stay at the same rate this year, was applauded from all areas of the chambers.