Eight new charges and higher fees from Birmingham City Council for locals amid financial crisis

Birmingham City Council is set to introduce eight new charges and higher fees in its financial crisis budget plan

Birmingham residents face being hit with a vast array of fee rises and new charges across many areas of everyday life as the city council grapples with a financial crisis.

The Labour-run council released a worrying budget proposal earlier this week, which sets out how it intends to slash services and raise council tax in a bid to tackle a £300 million budget gap.

Birmingham Conservatives reacted to the budget papers being published by describing the cuts the authority is proposing as “deep and far-reaching.”

Councillor Ewan Mackey, deputy leader of the Conservative group at the council, added: “Youth services, libraries, street cleaning, bin collections, school transport – little will go untouched and few people will be unaffected”.

It’s also true many of the proposed changes would likely impact residents, and their wallets, directly.

They include introducing parking charges at beloved parks, increasing entrance fees at a popular attraction for families and price rises at sport and leisure facilities directly managed by the council.

The council has found itself in this bleak situation due to a number of factors such as 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.

Day centres, leisure facilities, youth services, early help and community centres are also impacted by proposed cuts and ‘reviews’ as well as bin collections, cultural organisation grants, street lights and much more.

While he has previously acknowledged specific Birmingham problems, council leader John Cotton has argued that the period of austerity brought in by the Conservative government and “the hollowing out of local government” has played a role in how the council found itself in its alarming situation.

Speaking to the media on Monday, he apologised to residents across the city 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.”

He went on to say that the “savings” contained in the budget proposals were “unprecedented.” He continued: “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.”

Here’s a look at the ways Brummies will be paying more in the future alongside the dreaded hike in council tax. Below are just a handful of the proposals set out in the budget papers.

Birmingham Conservatives reacted to the budget papers being published by describing the cuts the authority is proposing as “deep and far-reaching.”

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