Over the past week the scale of the cuts to Walsall’s council budget has become clear. This is just further cuts we have seen over the past 5 years.
The details can be found HERE and you can respond to them.
There are three areas I am most concerned with
- The future of the Library. It comes as no shock that Pheasey Library is not of the 7 proposed to be closed. I could be cynical in suggesting Tory councillors protecting their own over other areas but people may say Labour would do the same. Let me make my position CLEAR. I want NO libraries to be closed, yes they can be upgraded, modernised etc but ANY library closure is unwelcomed and no needed. I certainly don’t want our library to be saved over others
- The biggest cuts are to elderly care (Reduction in adult social care commissioning budgets for older
people) which amounts to 25% of the total cuts. This is a false saving, any cuts here will only put further pressure on the NHS as where will these people go if the cuts are like this. This could affect any of parents and grandparents living in Walsall (or anywhere in the country).
- We now have confirmed that the waste collection will be reduced to two weekly cycle. Int he last consultation I totally rejected this and said the brown bin collection should be charged as not an essential service (as David Cameron agrees with). However we now have confirmation of this awful measure. I know in the consultation many said they wanted to keep the brown collection free. I totally disagree with this and they were not given the option of a weekly service for waste for say a £35 yearly charge for brown bins. Even more unbelievably the council are suggesting that the size of the normal waste bin stays the same but keep the same size for the green waste, amazing naivety that.
- Walsall CAB is under severe threat now (Establish a charitable body to deliver welfare advice and support
and withdraw grant to the Walsall Citizens Advice Bureau for welfare advice.). This would save around £400,000 a year but the cost to people using this service can not be measured. I have used the CAB (in Birmingham) and for a specific issue they were invaluable in terms of reducing stress and getting an issue resolved.
I am passionate about the CAB and there is a petition HERE for you to sign if you feel the same. The CAB for decades has helped people from all areas and walks of life and can not be allowed to die.
I am not naive, I understand the cuts are being forced by central government. However as shown int he last few days even David Cameron seems not to understand the scale of the cuts. Mike Bird on many occasions has decried the cuts and yet his own party still does this.
If for example you think the library has been ‘saved’ then with the spending review in a couple of weeks, the reprieve won;t last for long. any council be it red/blue or purple would have to make these cuts and the library will close, only a matter of time.
On a few issues highlighted these are choices Walsall Conservatives have made and are directly responsible for these choices.