Birmingham City Council passes 'largest' budget cut

Protesters The protesters spread out across several entrances and exits to the Council House

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Up to 1,000 jobs are likely to be cut by Birmingham City Council over two years after its £102m savings plan was approved.

Councillors passed the budget at a meeting which was interrupted by hecklers.

The cuts include £1m at children's centres and about £2m savings from waste collection changes.

The council's Labour leader Sir Albert Bore said they would be the largest made by any local authority.

Analysis

The Labour leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore, has been very public in his pessimism about the financial future.

His predictions have included the "end of local government as we know it" and the city hurtling towards what he has dubbed the financial "jaws of doom".

This year's budget is set against a backdrop of escalating equal pay claims. It is thought the claims from women employed by the council, but paid less than men in the same grade jobs, will eventually exceed £750m.

Sir Albert opened the meeting by saying the council faced "the largest cuts in local government funding any British government has attempted in the modern era.

"Of course we knew when Labour took office last year that there were tough times ahead. But the situation is in fact much worse than we first thought."

The authority, which serves one million people and is also said to be Europe's largest local authority, has to save a total of £615m by 2017.

Ahead of the meeting ,Godfrey Webster, of Birmingham Against The Cuts, said: "If these proposed cuts go ahead it will be devastating for Birmingham.

"It will mean adult services cut, children's homes closed and lots of other things we can't afford to lose."

Some protesters attempted to block car park entrances before the debate started and during the meeting.

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