The 10 alarming ways the Birmingham City Council crisis could affect your neighbourhood

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Birmingham City Council has announced its stringent budget cuts as it faces a £300m shortfall

Birmingham City Council has finally revealed what its enormous wave of budget cuts will entail – and there are several proposals which will likely impact your road, neighbourhood and community.

The Labour-run authority has found itself in the bleak predicament due to a number of issues including rising demand for services, an equal pay fiasco, the disastrous implementation of a new IT and finance system and the impact of years of austerity.

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Its budget proposal released this week, setting out how it will address a budget gap of £300 million, sheds light on what services will be slashed as well as rises in council tax and job losses.

Birmingham Conservatives reacted by describing the cuts that the authority is proposing as “deep and far-reaching.” Councillor Ewan Mackey, deputy leader of the Conservative group at Birmingham City Council, added: “Youth services, libraries, street cleaning, bin collections, school transport – little will go untouched and few people will be unaffected.”

Now the budget proposal has been published, it is clearer to see how the cuts and changes will noticeably impact residents and the neighbourhoods they live in. One major example is that weekly waste collections are on their way out in Birmingham, with a new fortnightly collection scheme set to be introduced in 2025-26.

Another eye-catching but relatively small measure in the budget is to ‘dim street lighting’ in a bid to reduce energy use and associated costs. Projects dedicated to improving local areas will also be affected, such as Neighbourhood Action Coordinators and Love Your Street, as well as graffiti crews, leisure fees and waste charges.

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Here are 10 ways Birmingham City Council’s crisis could affect where you live:

  1. Street lights, the council intends to reduce street lighting by ‘dimming and trimming’ in order to reduce energy use and associated costs.
  2. Bin collections, the budget proposal includes plans to move to fortnightly residual waste collection.
  3. Street cleansing; proposal to reduce the street cleansing team.
  4. Graffiti, the council has proposed to reduce graffiti crews and for graffiti removal to prioritise ‘offensive graffiti’.
  5. Highways maintenance, the council could reduce the level of planned maintenance carried out on Highways – potentially saving £12m.
  6. Leisure fees, the budget proposal sets out plans to increase prices at Birmingham City Council directly managed sport, leisure and wellbeing facilities by 5 per cent.
  7. Waste charges, increase in garden waste subscription charges from £50 to £60 per year and an increase in bulky waste charge from £35 to £45.
  8. Neighbourhood Action Coordinators, the council intends to cease the 22 ward pilot and not roll it out city wide.
  9. End contract with Keep Britain Tidy, the council will be unable to utilise the charity’s logo and not access its publications and guides.
  10. Love Your Street, this proposal is to review and prioritise a ‘reduced level of activity on areas of greatest need’.

The changes mentioned above are just a drop in the ocean however when it comes to the cuts and savings outlined in the full budget proposal. Speaking to the media on Monday, council leader John Cotton apologised for the spending reductions and the council tax increase.

“We have no alternatives but to face these challenges head on,” he said. “We will do absolutely whatever is necessary to put this council back on a stable and sound financial footing.

“The level of savings contained in these proposals are unprecedented and the council will continue to face financial pressures as it seeks to meet its wide ranging statutory duties and to protect those residents in the city most in need of support.”

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