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Lichfield District Council cannot afford to keep up spending levels on services, councillor warns

Lichfield District Council cannot afford to keep spending money on services as it does now, a councillor has warned.

The offices of Lichfield District Council. Pic: Lichfield District Council

The offices of Lichfield District Council. Pic: Lichfield District Council

The local authority has unveiled plans to begin charging for brown bin collections.

It is part of the long-term review of council services in a bid to fill a multi-million pound shortfall in funding.

Cllr Iain Eadie

Cllr Iain Eadie

Cllr Iain Eadie, Cabinet member for waste management at Lichfield District Council, said a funding gap of more than £620,000 in 2018/19 and a further £2million the following year means tough decisions will have to be made.

“The spending plan for the next three years, even assuming council tax goes up by £5 each year and using up all of the council’s available savings and reserves, shows that if Lichfield District Council carries on with its services as now, it has to find £2.7million.

“The council cannot therefore afford to keep spending as it does just now.”

The plan comes on the back of moves by Staffordshire County Council to introduce charges for some waste services at household recycling centres in Lichfield and Burntwood.

Cllr Eadie said the blame for the current financial picture – which sees Lichfield District Council spending 20% less on services than it did five years ago – does not solely fall at the feet of the current Government.

“The previous Labour, Coalition and current Government all spent, or spend, money beyond what they had or have coming in,” he said. “It is acknowledged this is not sustainable and public spending needs to equal public finance.

“While the political parties may differ on how to achieve this, all would make reductions to public spending.

“Councillors would welcome feedback from residents on what ideas they feel could help reduce the council expenditure, or generate additional income to avoid changing the services we deliver.”

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9 Comments

  1. Phil

    2nd March, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    “Cllr Iain Eadie… said a funding gap of more than £620,000 in 2018/19”

    Don’t worry councillor, your proposals to charge people for brown bin collections will earn the council a helpful profit. From the report:

    “The introduction of a chargeable garden waste could raise an additional £333,379 per annum for the authority.”
    https://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/Council/Meetings-committees-and-papers/LeisureParksWasteManagementOverviewScrutinyCommittee/2017/03/08/LeisureParksWasteManagementOverviewScrutinyCommittee08-Mar-2017.aspx

    That’s the amount of profit you’ll earn in 2017, so you’re over half way to filling that 2018/19 gap!

  2. Rob

    2nd March, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    So how much do the statutory services alone cost?

  3. Agitatorofpeople

    2nd March, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    “Lichfield District Council could afford to meet required spending, if they grew some “Cajones” and told Central Government that enough was enough” says Conservative councillor. If only that was the reality.

    Phil has a good point, and as pointed out in the now infamous “Brown Bins” press release, they are actually making a profit if the charges are brought in, profiteering from the local residents that already pay council tax with an additional charge.
    Just out of interest, what is going to be happening with the money raised from the sale of council owned business properties, and that rather large Library building? what of the money raised from sale of land for the “Lichfield one” luxury flats development? lots of asset stripping yet we are apparently “stony broke”.

    By the way Councillor Eadie you stated that “While the political parties may differ on how to achieve this, all would make reductions to public spending” that’s an interesting “all”, as in your own “Brown Bins” press release there is a reply by the Green Party that states that they would not make reductions and give alternative ways to raise council tax revenue. They would probably have a far better grip on what constitutes a good recycling and waste disposal policy, you should look into it.
    So not all parties have the same austerity/cuts/sell off/privatise ideology as your own political party……..who would of thought!

  4. CitizenKane

    3rd March, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I agree with you Agitator. The current councillors do not have a grip on matters yet I can foresee that their allowances will rise again this year. Cllr Eadie, along with his colleagues, have a tenuous grip on reality. I will be interested to know how many council meetings they all attend and the quality of their contribution when they do show up.

  5. Sj

    3rd March, 2017 at 10:25 am

    But the can afford 750,000 to house so called refugee said ,who incidentally only 10 of whom out of the 750 admired in to the UK from Calais last year were actually Syrian

  6. Steve

    3rd March, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Today’s new Government fly-tipping statistics make for disturbing reading. For the third year in a row the figures have increased and councils have reported more than 936,000 separate incidents, including a 6.5% increase in household waste fly-tips.

    The country is in the grip of a fly-tipping epidemic that is damaging our environment, damaging our communities and costing us millions of pounds to deal with.

    http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/keep-britain-tidy-calls-for-action-on-illegal-dumping/2808/2/1/999/3

    Nice to see Lichfield are doing their bit to make things far worse.

  7. Kate Gomez

    3rd March, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I was going to say your comment is completely irrelevant Sj. However, as you are actually talking rubbish, perhaps not.

  8. Sj

    4th March, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I suggest Kate you actually pay attention as to what the council are wasting our money on ,such as still subsidising the EU funded Garick .And as much as I hate to say it that figure is correct regarding the economic migrants yes I called them that ,may Tony Blair strike me down

  9. Mat

    4th March, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Governments can spend more than they have coming in- its called investment! If you starve the economy of funds then guess what- there are less funds. Time to see austerity for what it is- ideological nonsense.