Gloucestershire

Cheltenham councillors vote to make £3m savings

Proposals to save over £3m in the next two years have been signed off by Cheltenham borough councillors.

The Liberal Democrat-run authority's cabinet had proposed more than 90 different initiatives to save money.

The plans include a staff pay freeze for the next two years, and the loss of 32 jobs, accounting for 5% of the workforce.

Grants to the arts, for example festivals and the Everyman Theatre, are also being cut.

Members also voted on Friday to farm out a number of in-house services to other public bodies, and the private and voluntary sectors.

A restructure of senior management will also be implemented.

Six public toilets are being closed with facilities in the municipal offices being opened to the public instead.

Councillor John Webster, cabinet member for finance, said: "What we managed to do is balance our books which is what the law says we have to do and we've managed to do that without closing a major service.

"If we had to take another £500,000 out of that we would be talking about closing the leisure centre or dropping the art gallery, museum, or closing the town hall. We are that close to that kind of disaster."

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