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Government blamed as Lichfield District Council prepares for cuts

Opposition councillors have said the Government is the “main culprit” after Lichfield District Council unveiled plans to fill a £1.7million hole in its budget.

Around 20 jobs are at risk following the local authority’s Fit for the Future review, with a number of services also facing reduction or closure.

Cllr Steve Norman

Cllr Steve Norman

Labour Group leader, Cllr Steve Norman, warned that things could get worse thanks to some of the policies being pursued by the Government.

“The council’s own historic actions have caused many of its current problems – not least the amount of money their vanity project, The Garrick, gets in subsidy – but Government is the main culprit.

“An extra £250,000 will need to be found for National Insurance contributions in 2016 and if we haven’t attracted new businesses – and of course the Chancellor’s actions, or lack of, are of major importance here – or built new houses – again the Chancellor’s actions are key – then there will be even more dramatic reductions in services because of lack of income.

“I have pressed the leader of the council on getting support for Lichfield District’s financial case from our Members of Parliament, but they have done little or nothing.

“I wonder if their silence means that they believe that the council leadership got it wrong or the Local Government Minister has?”

The current economic picture is far from rosy for Lichfield District Council.

Staff were told of a the wide-ranging plans designed to fill a £1.7million gap in this year’s finances, followed by at least another £300,000 in the following year.

Workers were told in a briefing that the changes were “vital”, but Cllr Norman has now urged Lichfield and Burntwood residents to have their say on the local authority’s proposals before they hit facilities and services.

“These dramatic proposals have not been agreed yet by the council and I would urge all those affected, whether in a youth club, an exercise class, a play scheme, who want to use Shopmobility scooters or just feel safer with CCTV around them, to make their views known to the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on June 20.

“There is no party whip on Scrutiny so all members can have their say, irrespective of allegiance. I understand that all Cabinet Members will be there to answer questions.”

The views of that meeting will then go forward to Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet on July 2 before going in front of the full council on July 9.

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1 Comment

  1. Cynic

    31st May, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    With regard to CCTV and the cameras monitoring public area’s – if the council/management team do not have sufficient staff to do the job – would it be possible (cheaply) to allow the public to view the cameras?