Manchester City Council is being forced to make almost £110 million of cuts in the next year, followed by £170 million in 2012/13 after the Tory-Lib Dem government announced the financial settlement for the council last week. This amounts to a quarter of the council’s entire budget and puts Manchester in the top 5 worst hit councils in the country – despite also being one of the most deprived.
These grossly unfair and disproportionate cuts amount to nothing less than an attack on Manchester, while well off Tory authorities like Dorset have actually been given more money.
To put these cuts into context, it means the loss of 2,000 council jobs, libraries and swimming pools will close, back office functions at the council will be drastically cut, a number of council sponsored events will be cancelled and youth provision and services for the elderly will be scaled back.
Manchester’s Labour council has tried to ensure that frontline services are protected and the impact on residents is minimal – and has made a decision to freeze council tax for the next year – but the sheer scale of these cuts mean that unpopular decisions that would not normally be considered are going to have to be taken. This includes the introduction of parking charges in the city centre on Sundays and the extension of charging times on weekdays from 8am-6pm to 7am-7pm.
City Centre Labour Campaigner Kevin Peel said:
“Parking charges haven’t been raised by the Labour council for the last 5 years, but in the context of £280 million of cuts, the council has no choice.
“I have had extensive conversations with senior councillors to ensure that any proposals will mean a fair deal for city centre residents. I have demanded a full and fair consultation and will vigorously represent the views of residents to the council.
“I would also like to see changes to residents parking permits to reflect any proposed changes to charging times to ensure residents don’t lose out, and will be expressing this view during the consultation.”
Contact Kevin with your thoughts about these proposals – call 07812 124 703, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your comments online.
Manchester City Council are currently consulting local residents on the draft budget. Find out more and submit your views here.
Sign the Manchester Petition and call on the government to stop its attack on Manchester and give us back our fair share of money.