Facilities and services across Lichfield and Burntwood are under threat as the full force of the Fit for the Future review becomes clear.
LichfieldLive has examined much of the documentation being debated by Lichfield District Council’s scrutiny and overview committee on Thursday (June 20).
In a series of articles published today, we can reveal that community hubs in Lichfield and Fazeley – including one described as “a community venue for everyone to enjoy” – face what an internal report describes as “likely closure”.
However, Burntwood’s Old Mining College Centre is expected to survive complete closure after it was revealed that the facility generates around £600,000 for the local economy.
The Fit for the Future review has been launched by Lichfield District Council as it looks to plug immediate and long-term funding gaps caused by the Government’s decision to cut the money it gives to the local authority each year.
The cuts could also see:
- Thousands of journeys lost by the closure of community transport
- Risk due to loss of equalities post
- Work clubs to continue despite planned cutbacks
- Closure of leisure centres ruled out – but prices are likely to go up
- Services such as Mobile Leisure could go
- Charging set to be introduced for public toilets
- A downsized council likely to mitigate cuts to climate change budget
- New fees to be introduced for Shopmobility
Leader Mike Wilcox admitted to LichfieldLive that the council faced “tough decisions” as a result of funding cuts from central government.
“Next year alone we need to save more than £1.7 million and we are facing significant cuts in future years,” he said. “We have assessed local people’s views as well as ideas from across the whole council, to come up with a package of proposed measures worth around £1million.
“Under the proposals, many of our community and partnerships services will be stopped, but we’ll continue to offer support in areas such as community safety, safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, equalities, work clubs and our grant aid programme.
“With the scale of savings, it is inevitable some jobs will be affected. Our aim is to try to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies, but we know we will not be able to avoid them.
“From the changes identified so far, about 20 posts will be directly affected and this will regrettably lead to redundancies. We have informed these employees about the proposed changes and they are being provided with full support.
“While we have found considerable savings so far, we will continue to review our services over the coming months to ensure that they are delivered in the most cost effective way for our customers and within the resources we will have available.”
Even if the council press ahead with the recommendations in the first phase of Fit for the Future, the pain of cuts is likely to continue, with around £8.6million of savings already identified between now and 2019/20.