Bristol mayor announces £92m cuts over next five years

Labour Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees
Image caption Mr Rees said the options were "unpalatable" but necessary to balance the books

Cuts of £92m will be made to Bristol city council's budget by 2022, the city's mayor has said.

Marvin Rees said the cuts were due to government funding reductions, extra demand on services and weaknesses in the council's financial practices.

The Labour politician said: "It's been a very challenging week going through the options, they're not palatable, they're not nice."

A public consultation on the proposed cuts will be held until 5 January.

'Good social justice'

He added that the council would also need to save a further £33m before the end of March to balance the books.

The proposed departmental cuts follow plans to cut 1,000 council jobs announced in August.

He added that that council would need to achieve the savings or the council lose its autonomy.

"We have to balance our budget or we get taken over and the budget is balanced for us.

'Slicing away'

"Our priorities is around reducing inequalities, taking care of the most vulnerable people in the city as part of doing good social justice.

"But as part of the future aspirations and what kind of city we want to have would not necessarily be held as a high priority," added Mr Rees.

UNISON Bristol branch secretary Steve Crawshaw said: "If the council keeps slicing away at services without joined up thinking across the board, the situation will get even worse.

"Employees are telling us they can't keep doing more with less."

Projects such as the Bristol Arena and the Metrobus Scheme would be unaffected as they are funded as capital project rather than from revenue.

Some of the proposals for 2017-2022 include:

  • Recommission Bristol Youth Links to save between £900,000 and £1.7m by 2019 of its current £4.9m budget
  • Possibly closing one or more of the Bristol Community Links Centres which offer day services for adults to save £1.2m by 2020
  • Cuts of £1.2m to early help services for pre-birth to 19 year olds to be replaced with Family Centres
  • Recommission alcohol and drug misuse services to save between £552,000 and £1.1m by 2018
  • Bus subsidies being cut by £900,000 by 2019 and taking away the Companion Concessionary bus passes to save £400,000
  • Lollipop people outside 80 of Bristol's schools will also be affected, with all its £360,000 funding being cut

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