Opposition leader calls for answers.
Walsall Labour councillors are demanding to know how many council workers will be sacked in the borough following the announcement by Wolverhampton council that 1,000 jobs are at risk due to £89 million in cuts.
In August, Walsall council announced £104 million in cuts but the Conservative leader of the council, Mike Bird, did not outline how many jobs or services would be cut because of the Government’s plans.
Labour leader Tim Oliver now wants the Conservative and Lib Dems who run Walsall Council to spell out the scale of forthcoming cuts so that councillors can plan to protect services wherever possible and guard the borough’s fragile economy. “Labour run Wolverhampton have been honest about the consequences of these cuts imposed by the coalition government, all we are asking of the Tories and Lib Dems who run Walsall is to be the same.
“Staff have a right to know whether they have a job next year or not. Job losses on this scale would also wipe out any past or new job creation in the borough and people dependent on vital services, such as those for the disabled, will also be badly hit. These job losses are a result of Tory and Lib Dem national policies so the Lib Dem and Tories locally should have the honesty to explain the consequences. Unlike the national government, local councils have very little discretion to raise additional revenue and limited powers of borrowing.”
Explaining Labour councillors had already met with trade unions to see what can be done to protect jobs and services, he added: “Every time bad news hits Walsall Council, instead of the straightforward truth, we get excuses for not telling people what is really happening.
“We have seen this in regards Children’s Services, on the redevelopment of Phoenix 10, and now on how many jobs are to be lost. We need answers to plan, we need answers to best protect frontline services, we need answers because our staff and the public deserve them.”