Birmingham Conservatives react to City Council £760m equal pay crisis

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Birmingham City Council says it can’t afford its equal pay liability which costs up to £760m and is rising

Birmingham City Council is in talks with central government amid its equal pay liability reaching up to £760m currently - and continuing to rise.

The council said it can’t afford to pay this bill from existing resources and that it is putting “enhanced governance” into place and has begun work on a Budget Recovery Plan - with spending cuts feared. In a statement issued yesterday, the city council said:“This is one of the biggest challenges this council has ever faced, and we apologise for the failure to get this situation under control.”

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The council is run by Labour councillor John Cotton who took over from Labour councillor Ian Ward after being selected by Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee  follows a Labour Party commissioned report which criticised the "dysfunctional" climate at the authority.

Commenting on the news that Birmingham City Council has been ordered to pay a £760M equal pay settlement Cllr Robert Alden (Con, Erdington), Leader of the Opposition & Birmingham Local Conservatives, has slammed the Labour administration for what it has referred to as “another financial failure at Birmingham City Council”.

Robert said: "The Council have cancelled three meetings regarding equal pay in recent months, seemingly as they had no developments. Yet now we know Labour have run up a £760 Million plus bill and hidden it from the taxpayers of this city.

“This is because of Labour’s failure to take action over the last decade. They cannot even claim to have not been aware of this since, as Labour Councillors, they not only have briefings from officers, but they also happily shared union claims that the Council wasn’t paying staff fairly! Despite being in control, Labour failed to actually deal with the issue and stop it from continuing, leading to this shocking debt building up under Labour’s watch".

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Birmingham City Council Conservative Lead Cllr Robert Alden (Erdington)Birmingham City Council Conservative Lead Cllr Robert Alden (Erdington)
Birmingham City Council Conservative Lead Cllr Robert Alden (Erdington) | Local TV

Cllr Ewan Mackey (Con, Sutton Roughley), Deputy Leader of Birmingham Local Conservatives said "Heads have to roll. The Labour Group have been in charge for 11 years. The cabinet has had many of the same faces for most of that time. Their refusal to do their jobs is now set to cost residents, from Equal pay to Oracle, at least £760 Million plus £100 Million and worse seems to still be costing residents up to £14 Million a month until they finally sort this out. Labour have failed our city. They have bankrupted the Council. They have to go and they have to go now!”

Cllr Alex Yip (Con, Sutton Wylde Green), Shadow Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community, Safety and Equalities said: “It is deplorable that alongside the financial chaos this Labour administration is presiding over with Oracle, the inability to even sign off their own accounts as the largest Council in Europe, we now hear that they need to find £760 million to settle a matter that they said had been definitively dealt with. This yet again shows that the council is unable to be trusted with the city’s finances and their mismanagement of our taxes and assets is destroying the future of our city.”

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