Town hall bosses: ‘Save us from £63 million of cuts misery’
TOWN hall bosses will call on the government to spare Bolton from more spending misery, saying up to £63 million worth of cuts over the next few years could leave some services “untenable”.
The Bolton News reported how “worse than expected” government spending plans had left the council facing cuts of up to £30 million in 2015-16.
This is up to £10 million higher than first feared and could see up to 400 jobs lost.
The move could mean budget reductions of £63 million between 2015 and 2018.
The cuts include a 20 per cent reduction in the money the council gets to support the borough’s schools, with chiefs warning that even services for children with special needs could now be under review.
On Monday, the authority’s ruling cabinet is expected to back a council response calling on the government to rethink its plans.
A strongly worded council report said aspects of government funding policy had created an “unbelievably perverse situation”.
The government has also been accused of “moving the goalposts” after it changed the way it allocates some council money.
It has “top sliced” 35 per cent of the money it provides for the New Homes Bonus, which was meant to incentivise councils to promote house building, and given it to the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership instead — a sub-regional body which aims to encourage business growth.
It has also slashed 10 per cent from what the council was due to keep from business rates collected in the borough.
Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris, said: “They can’t expect us to have these kinds of cuts and not say anything.
“They’re moving the goalposts. They say one thing one month and say something else the next.
“It’s not about making efficiencies — we’ve already done that. It’s a case of looking at some services which can no longer be delivered.”
On schools, he added: “It is going to have an impact.
“When you look at things like special needs it’s the most vulnerable who suffer, and we’ll have to look at how we can protect them as much as we can.”
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