Richard Burden
Following this afternoon’s confirmation of budget cuts by Birmingham City Council, Northfield MP Richard Burden (Labour) has issued an angry statement.

As the Conservative-LibDem coalition council slash £212 million funding over the next four years, including £3 million from youth funding and £17.5 million cuts to care packages this year, Mr Burden said:

“In December Eric Pickles, the Conservative local government secretary, said he was delighted to announce a cut of 8.3% of government spending in Birmingham.

“Two weeks ago Mike Whitby, the Tory leader of Birmingham City Council, and Paul Tilsley, the Lib Dem deputy leader, announced their draft budget with self-satisfied smiles.

“Today, as the Tory-Lib Dem Birmingham City Council confirms £212 million of cuts, I and the people of Birmingham who elect us to represent them are neither delighted nor smiling. We are angry.

“These are the biggest cuts in history and it is those with the least that will suffer the most. On Planet Whitby it is all smiles – apparently cuts in funding don’t mean cuts in services. But here in the real world, these are real cuts to real services used by real people.

“Today’s budget means over 2,500 jobs will go, 11,000 elderly residents and many with mental health and learning difficulties will no longer receive the care they need, youth centres across the city will be lost, school buses and bus passes for all but the most severely disabled will be scrapped, voluntary and community groups who provide vital local services face closure, and the list goes on.

“Despite their rhetoric, it is clear that in practice this Tory-Lib Dem budget will not protect the most vulnerable; will not help people back into work; will not help improve education and skills; and will not make Birmingham a cleaner and safer city.

“And let’s be clear where these cuts come from. These are the Conservative cuts – demanded by the Conservative-led government who has cut the equivalent of £101 for every person in Birmingham. Compare that to leafy Wokingham where the cut is only £4 per person. Why have the Tories got it in for Birmingham?”


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