More details have been revealed about how Lichfield District Council hopes to make £1.7million of cuts.
The local authority’s Fit for the Future project is aiming to plug a gap in the budget as a result of reductions in Government funding.
A report outlining the first stage of the cuts will be discussed at the council’s Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee on June 20.
Among the savings being proposed are are:
- £207,000 a year from the community and partnerships budget, including the closure of community development and community transport services.
- £450,000 a year from the leisure, parks and play budget, including reduced opening at King Edward VI Leisure Centre and reductions in the play scheme programme, exercise classes and sports sessions.
- £300,000 a year from the operational services area, including introduction of ShopMobility and public toilet charging, as well as savings in grounds maintenance, street cleaning, CCTV and waste collection.
The council has also revealed that it plans to remove the climate change budget and “cease any strategic work in this area”.
A number of jobs are at risk as part of the Fit for the Future, with the local authority admitting that redundancy pay-off costs are likely to be at least £208,000.
These initial cuts could be the first of many with the council’s report outlining a series of savings totaling more than £8.6million identified between now and 2019/20.
Almost £3.5million alone has been earmarked to come from the leisure budget over the next seven years.
Services such as the Aspire clubs for young people and the Mobile Leisure team have all been earmarked for closure, while Burntwood Leisure Centre faces reductions, although the report admits these are “not yet fully identified”.
A report into the planned closure of some leisure services admitted the move would have a negative impact.
“This will most affect children and young people, including those most vulnerable, and the elderly using the mobile leisure classes,” the report admitted.
Council workers were given a glimpse of the bleak financial picture in a May staff briefing.
They were told: “Fundamentally, we know that we cannot tackle our financial issues by growing our income alone. Serious cuts to our spending will also be vital.
“Given the current economic climate, which is impacting on the number of new homes being built and on businesses starting up or expanding, together with the fact the government has capped the amount of money we can generate through council tax by limiting any future increases, we need to be realistic about the amount of income we can raise.
“We are also forecasting a possible drop in council tax income and an increase in our costs as a result of the recent welfare reforms.”