Thursday, 7 January 2010

Nottingham City Council anounce £17m cuts

Just before Christmas Nottingham City Council added to the list of councils making big cuts, with the announcement that it plans to cut £17m. The full report to the cabinet outlining the proposals can be found here and here.

The council say they need to make £17.2m of cuts. There are some interesting differences between the situations at Nottingham City Council and neighbouring Notts County Council (who are proposing £33m in cuts).

Firstly, unlike the county council, the city are proposing to put up council tax, by a modest 2.9%. Contrast that with the council tax freeze at the county council.

Secondly, the city council are predicting a £3m overspend in the current financial year, wheres as the county council are predicting a £10.4m underspend, but are stuffing £5m of this into reserves.

Thirdly, the county council have big reserves - over £24m in unallocated reserves and they have plenty of scope to use some of the reserves to support the budget. Whereas the city council have £7.9m in unallocated reserves, which gives them less scope to use them to support the budget.

That said, the scale of the cuts is alarming and there is no doubt, if implemented, they will result in cuts to frontline services. Despite the differences in the positions at the city and county councils UNISON will still be subjecting the city council's budget proposals and accounts to the same forensic scrutiny.

Last year the branch had a high profile campaign against similar cuts that were proposed last year. Whilst they were not able to prevent all of the job losses, their vigorous campaigning meant that very few people were made compulsorily redundant. The branch also pioneered the use of billboards to get their message across - a successful technique that has been copied this year by the Notts County branch.

And you can be sure that the branch will mount another high profile campaign this year.

1 comment:

  1. should cut down counciller wages/expenses and the number