Leicester City Council to cut further £54m from budget

Sir Peter Soulsby
Image caption Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said he had made some "tough financial" decisions

Leicester City Council must save £54m by 2017, as government grants are further reduced over the next four years, the city's mayor has said.

The warning came as Sir Peter Soulsby revealed Leicester City Council's budget plans for 2013-14.

Sir Peter said the council's budget would be cut by £3m next year and a further £6m the following year.

Some children's centres will have reduced opening hours and free leisure facilities for the over 60s will end.

If proposals are approved, the big screen on Humberstone Gate will also go and three hostels for the homeless will close.

"We took some very tough financial decisions on the budget earlier this year and a lot of this is still working its way through the system," said Sir Peter.

One father, who did not want to be identified and uses the Saffron Lane children's centre, said: "If they cut this, people aren't going to have as much opportunity to get out.

"This is the closest one to us and if it closes, we will have to travel further. With things as they are, it's finding the extra money for that."

Job losses

In December 2011, the mayor of the Labour-run authority announced cuts amounting to £10m for 2012-13 and £40m by 2015.

About 600 posts will be cut over the next two years - about 100 have already gone and a further 106 are planned for next year.

Conservative Councillor Ross Grant said it would be better to even out some of the cuts.

"One of the things the mayor has proposed is that it's reasonable that people over 60 don't get their reduced travel fares before 09:30," he said.

"He'll say it's reasonable and logical but I'd say it was last year as well and we've missed a year of saving that money.

"We could be getting to grips with saving more money over the next few years so we don't have to cut as deeply when we know we won't have as much money," he said.

Leicester residents are being asked to give their opinions on the proposals by 21 January.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites