Sunday, April 15, 2007

More Cuts on the Way?

Last year, the Liberal Democrats cut pest control and we have one of the worst rat problems in the City. Indeed, Environmental Services submitted a bid to a recent Ward Advisory Board to try and fill the gap. As Neighbourhood Renewal Funds aren't supposed to support mainstream services, this was rejected, although I understand that other local wards have handed over the money.

This year, the efficiency savings cuts are threatening our swimming pools as part of a wider review of leisure services.

In 2004, the Liberal Democrat manifesto for Birmingham promised to ‘expand swimming opportunities’ - one of their many pledges that they forgot when they took control of the council. In 2007, under pressure from the Tories, options being considered to cut costs are a 12% cut in the opening hours of our local leisure centre and the partial closure of another local pool - Stechford Cascades. I don't think that either are satisfactory answers when we should be looking to expand involvement in sport. My wife and I do use these pools with the children fairly regularly.
In contrast, the Tory/Liberal Democrat council found £700,000 to spend on a Sutton Coldfield pool – including fitting air-conditioning to the cafĂ©. Strange priorities.

Meanwhile, councillors in Acocks Green agreed to increase charges for sport by up to 30% and have backed an inflation-busting 5% increase in rent for council tenants.

Nothing like hitting the poorest the hardest, is there?
I have challenged these options at the Constituency Committee and will continue to do so. We don't need our services cut further.

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