The full list of Birmingham City Council cuts that will impact city neighbourhoods

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Here’s the full list of “savings” under ‘City Operations’ put forward by Birmingham City Council

Yesterday’s fiery and critical budget meeting saw Birmingham City Council’s leader warn of decisions that could have a “lasting impact” on every single neighbourhood in Brum.

The Labour-run authority’s budget, and the enormous wave of cuts to local services it includes, was passed following a vote among the full council on Tuesday, March 5.

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The council has found itself in this dire position due to Birmingham-specific issues, such as an equal pay fiasco and the disastrous implementation of a new IT and finance system, as well as other factors such as rising demand for services and the impact of years of austerity.

“The budget before council today is not the budget I entered politics to set,” Cllr John Cotton admitted during his speech yesterday. “It is not a budget I ever envisaged for our city.”

The cuts and changes now set to take place range from the bizarre and unexpected, including phasing out chemical spraying in parks.

Bin collections, leisure fees, cultural organisation grants and street lighting are all impacted by cuts and ‘reviews’ as well as highways maintenance, graffiti removal, car parking at beloved parks and much more.

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Here’s the full list of “savings” under ‘City Operations’ put forward by Birmingham City Council that could impact everyone:

Birmingham City Council houseBirmingham City Council house
Birmingham City Council house | LDRS

Some of BCC’s more high-profile cuts and changes:

  • Street lighting, reduction of operational levels of street lighting by 2,000,000 Kilowatt hours in order to reduce energy use and associated costs.
  • Move to fortnightly residual waste (non-recyclable) collection and amend early starts, develop year 2 proposals that introduce fortnightly residual waste collection, coupled with food waste. Also change 5am start  times for waste collection crews to 6am.
  • Highways maintenance, reducing the level of planned maintenance carried out on Highways.
  • Cultural Organisation Grant reductions, excluding the B:Music premises grant, reduce other grants by 50% in year 1 and 100% in year 2.
  • Reduce Graffiti Crews, remove external spend on graffiti removal and utilise in-house graffiti removal resources only. Graffiti removal will prioritise offensive graffiti. 
  • Car parks in parks, introduce parking charges at Sutton Park, Lickey Hills Country Park and Sheldon Country Park.
  • Additional Bereavement income, an average increase of 11% in 2024/25 and a further fee increase of average 5% in 2025/26 across all fees and charges.
  • Cease non-statutory waste prevention activities, remove the team undertaking street quality audits and neighbourhood waste contamination.
  • Reduce Grounds Maintenance capability, reduce 33 staff in grounds maintenance. 
  • Reduce Flood Risk Maintenance Budget, reduction in maintenance budget, flood asset regimes and reactive maintenance.
  • Review Love your Street activities, this proposal is to review and prioritise a reduced level of activity on areas of greatest need.

Culture, attractions and tourism

  • Reduce tourism budget, halve the budget available to support new initiatives aligned with delivering the Visitor Destination Plan that increase the number of tourists visiting our city.
  • Birmingham Wildlife and Conservation Centre, additional income generated through 10 per cent increase in entrance fees. 
  • Increase income from commercial events, increase in income for Frankfurt Christmas Market and new income for Summer Music Event.
  • Review Film Birmingham, implement cost reductions and increase income.
  • Cease funding for cultural projects, deliver two historical cultural project grants in year 1 ceasing the rest including Local Arts Forums. Cease all cultural project grants in year 2. 
  • Restructure culture delivery team, restructure team to reflect reduction in service activity.

Highways and roads

  • School crossing patrols (non-statutory service), change funding model for school crossing patrols and fund through Clean Air Zone funds.
  • Dropped kerbs, Optimisation of service delivery and grouping like activity through multi-skilling to ensure the service is funded from the income generated by issue of dropped kerbs with no funding via the general fund.
  • Local engineering (non-statutory service), the service acts as a central point of contact for local councillors, communities and the public on highway-related issues and manages the delivery of minor highway improvement schemes. Proposal to amend delivery model.
  • Highways specified licences, 100% self-funding – redesign to maximise efficiency and group like activity.
  • Reduction in PFI management budget, employee reductions following change in highways maintenance arrangements.

Parks and environment

  • Herbicides in parks, phase out chemical spraying in parks and increase the use of mulch in flower beds.
  • Remove Ranger Patrol and delete vacant posts within the Ranger service, reduce Rangers from 33 to 20.

Leisure and sport

  • Leisure fees, increase prices at Birmingham City Council directly managed sport, leisure and wellbeing facilities by 5%.
  • Increase income and reduce expenditure in internal leisure – breakeven budget, reduce costs at Moseley Road Baths and transfer the facility that used to house Great  Barr Leisure Centre.
  • Combine management of Wellbeing and Sport service, align the sports facilities, leisure centres and wellbeing centres under a single management structure.
  • Measures implemented to deliver a profit share for Birmingham Community Leisure Trust leisure centre contract, implement measures that will increase the likelihood of the Birmingham Community Leisure Trust leisure centre contracts returning a surplus share for the Council.
  • Reduction of grant to The Active Wellbeing Society, reduce the grant from £1.2m to £0.3m thereby reducing the outdoor physical activity offer provided though The Active  Wellbeing Society.
  • Cease Sports Development Function, cease the non-statutory function.
  • Alexander Stadium future operating model, outsource Management operation or establish a Charitable Trust/CIO to run the Stadium.
  • Review of Wellbeing Service operating model, In conjunction with stakeholders such as Sport England and Public Health develop a new model for the management and operation of the Council’s Wellbeing Centres.

Property

  • Property licensing – administrative overhead and absorption rate, overhead and absorption (central support charges and divisional overheads) for the delivery of property licensing schemes are to be activated as per original licence fee calculations.
  • Property licensing, optimising council delivery of support, advice and administration activity of property licensing schemes 
  • Property licensing, any financial penalty resulting from enforcement to be invested into supporting further enforcement activities.
John CottonJohn Cotton
John Cotton | LDRS

Waste, street scene and other

  • Additional income from registration of marriages, increase income by appointing an additional postholder to increase the number of marriage ceremonies that can take place.  An additional marriage ceremony day will be offered on Thursdays (which is not currently available)
  • Pest control, introduction of new charge at £20+VAT for rat in garden and rat in house treatments.
  • Bulky waste, increase bulky waste charge from £35 to £45.
  • Garden waste, increase garden waste subscription charges from £50 to £60 per year.
  • End contract with Keep Britain Tidy, the Council will be unable to utilise KBT’s logo and not access KBT publications and guides. 
  • Reduction in Street Cleansing posts, reduce the Street Cleansing team from 325 to 305 FTEs. 
  • Reduction in managerial posts, review management structures in Street Scene 
  • Neighbourhood Waste Enforcement Officers – self financing, the team consists of 6 FTEs, which it is proposed to reduce to 3. For the team of 3, to be self-financing through fine income. 
  • Ward Forum meetings, reduce the number of ward forum meetings and staffing levels accordingly from 4 to 2. 
  • Neighbourhood Development Support Unit, reduce the management capacity to reflect the reduction in NDSU activity.
  • Changes to Business Improvement District Service, introduce 3% revenue account management fee (collection charge) for Business Improvement Districts Service. Release remaining budget for BID establishments and ballots and reduce BID officers and high street officers 
  • Community Facilities, most Council owned community centres have already been transferred to third parties (mainly voluntary and community groups), but the council still directly manages eleven facilities. The proposal is for the service to stop running these remaining facilities and instead seek to transfer them to third parties to operate, but if this proves unviable then alternative routes of disposal will be considered. 
  • Delete 4 vacant posts – neighbourhoods division, delete non-priority vacant posts.
  • Release service prudential borrowing capacity identified for Alexander Stadium, reduction in the revenue budget available to fund capital works through borrowing.
  • Restructure Resilience team and Reduce repairs and maintenance budget, reduction in posts.
  • Align Events & City Centre Teams, the team will refocus on its core activity – the events that remain contracted to be delivered, its two key civic events (Remembrance Sunday and Holocaust Memorial) and on bringing in new events to generate income. Funding for Birmingham International Dance Festival and Weekender will cease. The City Centre Management 
  • Resilience – stop volunteering payments and payments to the regional Local Resilience Forum, proposal is to stop non-statutory payment into the Local Resilience Forum and to cease supplementary payments to staff volunteers. 
  • Allocation of Public Health funding, Public Health funding to be secured to support community safety
  • Public Health funding for Environmental Health and Trading Standards – 3 years only, provision of non-statutory work that protects physical health and mental wellbeing.
  • Cease area based community work and cease Neighbourhood Development Support Unit (NDSU) non-statutory functions, cease area-based community work and cease NDSU non-statutory functions. Restructure team to reflect reduction in service activity.
  • Rationalisation of Assistant Director posts, With the proposed reduction in services provided through City Operations there is scope to reduce the directorate management team and reorganise remaining service provision.
  • Consolidation of Enforcement, the consolidation of enforcement activity into a centre of expertise.
  • Garden Waste collection rounds, redesign garden waste collection rounds and optimise collection operations.
  • Procurement of Street Scene agency contract, re-procure the agency contract for Street Scene agency resources.
  • Commercial waste, redesign commercial waste collection services and grow income.
  • Reduce cost of Queslett closed landfill site, reduce the management and technical costs of the closed Queslett landfill site.
  • Fuel contract procurement, reprocure the fuel contract for street scene’s fleet.
  • Strategic review of fleet, increase utilisation and optimise fleet operations of Street Scene’s vehicles.
  • Recycling waste collection rounds, redesign recycling waste collection rounds and optimise collection operations.
  • Reduce the Mobile Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) provision, halve the mobile HWRC provision and focus on priority areas.
  • Remove ‘additional’ Deep Cleansing Crews, reverse the growth funding for Deep Cleansing Crews.
  • Review of agency staff working arrangements, review agency staff arrangements to pay agency staff on a deployed hours basis.
  • Review grounds maintenance, remove client/contractor working arrangements in Grounds Maintenance and and review the POPI system.
  • Reduce mechanical sweepers, remove 10 mechanical sweepers that are beyond their operational life.
  • Reduce agency staff in waste collection, reduce reliance of agency resource in waste collection, as a contingency for mainstream operations.
  • Reduce agency resource in street cleansing, reduce reliance of agency resource in street cleansing, as a contingency for mainstream operations.
  • Reduce short term vehicle hires, remove 23 hire vehicles from the council’s fleet.
  • Remove early starts in waste collection, reverse the early start arrangements introduced as part of COVID control measures.
  • Amend the Community Safety team, reduction in posts – proposal is to not renew or make permanent any FTC contracts currently paid via revenue budget and not fill a grade 5 vacancy.
  • Neighbourhood Action Coordinators, cease the 22 ward pilot and do not roll out city wide.

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