Unions to lobby council ‘cuts’ meeting

First published in News

TOWN Hall chiefs will meet today to decide on whether to increase council tax or make cuts to services to save £8.8 million.

Bolton’s ruling cabinet will choose between eight financial options and will also decide the services which will be affected by the cuts.

Whichever financial choice they make will mean cuts to services, but the higher council tax is raised and the more reserves spent, then the fewer cuts that will be needed.

Bolton Council will not raise its council tax level higher than two per cent, which is the cut-off point when the authority would have to hold a town referendum on the change.

But because waste and transport costs are calculated separately, the actual rise for homeowners could exceed two per cent.

Options are a rise of 0.7 per cent, of 2.4 per cent, of 3.5 per cent and 3.85 per cent.

Bolton trade unions are preparing to lobby the council ahead of the cabinet meeting, as well as the full council meeting on Wednesday, February 20.

Bolton Unison branch secretary Bernadette Gallagher said: “As trade unionists we cannot simply sit back and say cuts are inevitable.

“We appreciate our councillors face an unprecedented level of cuts to local expenditure and that there is limited room to manoeuvre.

“However, Bolton Council still has choices to make. The town is already suffering from the £60 million in cuts that have already been made.”

Bolton convenor Sean Warren, from the GMB union, said: “We are well aware that the climate of cuts and austerity is driven by central government, but these cuts are being implemented here in Bolton. We have to try to influence the politicians, both nationally and locally.”

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