Protests fail to halt Nottingham City council cuts

Cuts of £33.6m, including the loss of more than 370 posts, have been approved by Nottingham City Council.

The budget was approved unamended at a full council meeting on Monday.

Discussions over spending for the next financial year were disrupted by heckling from the public gallery, which had to be cleared.

The Labour-controlled council said it had been forced into the move by a 8.4% cut, equivalent to £29.5m, drop in central government funding.

Council leader Jon Collins said the cutbacks amounted to a reduction of £60m in real spending power.

He said: “Its not really what I wanted to come into politics to do but we are elected to make difficult decisions and we are making those difficult decisions.

“At the same time we are standing up for the city and at the same time trying to get across the message how unfair these cuts are on a city like Nottingham.”

Further redundancies

Savings include increasing charges for adult social care, reducing highways maintenance, increasing charges or reducing public access at heritage sites and reducing support for jobseekers.

But the council said it had safeguarded community protection posts, maintained the level of street cleansing services, and protected children’s centres.

The leadership also said changes to staff terms and conditions had saved about 100 posts.

But Mr Collins predicted more than 1,000 posts, about 20% of the non-teaching workforce, may ultimately go in the next three years due to further grant cuts.

There are a total of more than 9,100 full time equivalent posts at the council but teaching budgets are decided separately.

Proposals from Conservative and Liberal Democrats councillors to reduce spending on communications, or stop the building of a swimming pool and save the Handel Street day centre in Sneinton, were rejected.