7,000 job losses at Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council plans to cut more than 7,000 jobs as it faces a "gargantuan challenge" to save £300 million over the next three years.

Unveiling Birmingham City Council's business plan for the next financial year, leader Mike Whitby said a total of 4,300 posts would be cut and 3,000 more would be transferred into a schools co-operative, amid spending cuts from central government.

He said that from that number, 1,807 council employees had already taken voluntary redundancy and a further 1,500 had opted to do so in the coming year.

The authority - the largest in the UK - has made 302 compulsory redundancies and is consulting over the remainder of the posts which must be cut.

Mr Whitby, who described the savings plan as "a gargantuan challenge", said: "Undoubtedly this has been one of the most challenging budgets to plan.

"Although, inevitably, there will be a focus on reduced spend across the public sector, it is important to remember that more than £3.5 billion is still to be spent on quality public services."

He added: "Without wishing to dilute the challenge, which is immense, we have the credibility and the ability to manage it."

He said there would be "some downsides in the city of Birmingham" but announced that council tax would not rise in the forthcoming new financial year out of consideration for the high number of "poor" and "vulnerable" people in the city.

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