Budget cuts set to hit youngsters

By Laura Payne 08/03 Updated: 16/03 12:03

CHILDREN'S services are set to lose out as a result of the latest budget approved by Solihull Council.

Savings of £11.9 million were outlined for 2012/13 which included £2.16 million axed from children and young people's services with a focus on Connexions and children's centres.

Savings of £2.1 million will also be made in cuts to health and wellbeing while £1.59 million will be saved from community services.

Council tax will again be frozen, which for a Band D property is £1,173.

Councillors voted by majority for a budget of £144.94 million with Conservatives and Liberal Democrats joining forces to get it through against Labour and the Green Party who opposed the budget.

Fees for services such as libraries, car parking and pest control have been reviewed and increased.

The council also said it is planning to save £8.25 million in 2013/14 and £4.43 million the year after.

This includes £2.4 million of savings from children and young people's services in 2013/14 with a further £1.08 million to be cut in 2014/15.

And savings of £3.28 million in 2013/14 and £1.56 million in 2014/15 will be cut from health and wellbeing.

Coun Ken Meeson, leader of the council, said the council was focused on protecting front line services.

He said: "Solihull has suffered significant reductions in Government funding over several years and with the added pressure on public service spending we have had to deliver a further £12 million of savings.

"Most of this has come from driving down costs through our programme of service re-design, efficiencies and contract negotiations.

"But the priority remains to protect front line services and we have still managed to invest a further £4 million in adult social care for the most vulnerable in our population.

"I am grateful to our hard working staff who, despite a continued pay freeze, give tremendous service to the people of Solihull and make sure that this remains a borough we can be proud of and a good place to live and work."

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