at the United Reform Church Sutton Coldfield. There are more meetings coming up around Birmingham which we would encourage people to attend
The meeting started with a presentation by a council official on the programme of cuts the Council is proposing over the next four years. There was a number of responses from the audience.
1. Since these proposals were political why was there no presence of local Councillors from Sutton Coldfield and Erdington. One local resident said it was a disgrace the local Tory MP and government minister was not present to justify these massive attacks on vulnerable people.
2. Others disputed statements in the Council budget document which says in part “our top services priorities are as follows: …helping people into work” A Unison member stated this was a desperate misrepresentation given that Connexion workers (whose job is to help young people into jobs) were being cut from 350 to 70 employees. Cutbacks for people with disabilities were also condemned.
3. Others stated that the whole procedure of taking down peoples comments was a fraud and the meeting should consider collective statements in the form of motions to the meeting. This was agreed after much resistance from the supposed “independent” chair.
The meeting voted to reject all the Council Cuts and proposed that if the Councillors and the Chief Executive approve 10% cuts then the Chief Executive’s pay and the Councillors allowances would be cut by the same amount. Out of a meeting of 40 only 3 people voted against the first part of resolution one and 5/6 against the second part with a small number of abstentions in each case. The second resolution was passed unanimously
The resolutions are listed below
Resolutions to the budget consultation meeting 2.11.11.
This meeting opposes all the cuts Birmingham City Council is proposing in the 2012/13 Budget.
It further calls for the reinstatement of all the cuts in the 2011/12 budget in particular reversing the massive pay cuts (up to £5,000 a year) being imposed on many City Council workers.
The official rhetoric on the cuts is that we are all in this together. In line with this establishment line it is agreed to support the following.
The percentage cut in the 2012/13 budget agreed by the Birmingham City Council will be the same percentage cut in Councillors allowances and pay of the Chief Executive and directors of the Council’s departments.
For example if the Council agrees a 10% cut in services for Birmingham people, the allowance of the Council leader and the pay of the Chief Executive will be cut by 10%.
An announcement was also made about a Birmingham Against the Cuts public meeting at 7 pm Thursday 24th November Council House with Christine Blower General Secretary of NUT and Joe Morgan Regional Secretary of GMB as well as other speakers.
Report from Stuart Richardson