Further cuts to come, say Labour group.
The announcement last week by Walsall council that 332 jobs will be lost next year is just the beginning of massive job cuts across the authority, Labour councillors are warning. The real number of redundancies is likely to be far higher, opposition group leader Tim Oliver predicted, saying the council’s Tory and Lib Dem led cabinet were hiding the true facts from the public as they make plans for £104 million cuts over five years.
Pointing to Wolverhampton council who have been forced to announce 1,000 job losses over the next two years to meet a savings’ target of £96 million, Council Oliver said: “Walsall’s cabinet is hiding the truth from the voters until after the May local elections next year. This 332 jobs loss is in just one year. Under government plans, in 2015-16, Walsall council will be expected to cut even more from the budget and the jobs toll will inevitably increase. Everyone in Walsall should be horrified by this destruction of our services and the loss of so many jobs. It will hit communities, businesses, shops and our friends and neighbours.”
“What is so distasteful about this is we have a Tory and Lib Dem cabinet who are trying desperately to distance themselves from their own governments plans, they are worried about their political skins not the lives of those who will really suffer. However, come the general election in 2015 they will ask us to vote for the same parties and the same policies which have brought us to this unpalatable situation.”
“What is more at the meeting of Walsall cabinet which agreed to go ahead with consultation on these plans, Tory councillors had the cheek to praise themselves for their own excellent performance and claimed to be ‘open and transparent’, whilst surely knowing that in reality they are hiding the full extent of the inevitable carnage that is to follow as a result of their own government’s policies.”