Notts SOS protest city council cuts budget


Notts Save Our Services

PRESS RELEASE – January 21st, 2012

Anti-cuts campaigners protest Nottingham City Council cuts budget

Anti-cuts campaigners today (Saturday 21st January) launched a campaign calling on city councillors to vote against Nottingham City Council’s proposed budget for 2013-14.

Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS) held a stall in the Market Square to raise awareness of what the council is planning and collect signatures for a petition calling on the council not to impose further cuts.

Notts SOS is also calling on people concerned about the impact of the cuts to attend consultation sessions being run by the council to challenge councillors to reject the proposals.

Earlier this week, Nottingham City Council announced budget proposals which foresee a 3.49% council tax increase alongside 195 job cuts.

The council are looking at selling-off Portland Leisure Centre; closing two centres for older people, Marlstones Elderly Person’s Home in Bulwell and the Willows Centre in Beechdale; closing the Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard; cutting food waste collections and closing nine recycling centres; reducing funding to Connexions, a support service for young people; and reducing redundancy payments for laid-off staff to the legal minimum.

In total the council hope to save £20m to cover a shortfall arising from reduced government funding as a result of the coalition government’s austerity drive.

The council has also said that this would not be the end to the cuts, with an additional £24m of cutbacks required by the end of the spring 2015.

Notts SOS believe that the cuts agenda is ideologically driven and are urging councillors to stand-up to central government.

Claire Taylor from Notts SOS said, “Council Leader Jon Collins and Deputy Leader Graham Chapman have been vocally critical of central government and often with good reason. Now it’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is and refuse to pass the cuts onto the people of Nottingham. Even a single council refusing to implement a cuts budget would shake the coalition government.”

Rosemary Muge from the group added, “The same week the council announced it’s planned cuts, Goldman Sachs revealed an £8 billion pay and bonus bill for UK staff in 2011 – equating to £238,832 for every worker. The bankers who caused this crisis have avoided paying for it and instead the cost is being borne by ordinary people. Nottingham is already a deprived city it needs investment not further cutbacks.”

Notes for editors

1. Notts SOS was launched in September 2010. They oppose cuts to services, job losses and cuts in benefits and aim to support workers organisations, service users, community groups in fighting cuts in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire. They hope to inspire confidence to think, meet and act. And to be inspired.

2. Last year Notts SOS held a demonstration when the city council met to set its budget. A petition was presented to Deputy Leader Graham Chapman. Councillors were later heckled from the public gallery and Jon Collins was challenged by protesters while he was being interviewed for the BBC.

ENDS

Links:

Notts SOS website: http://nottssos.org.uk

Notts SOS Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/nottssos

Notts SOS Indy.im feed: https://indy.im/nottssos

Contact email: nottssos [at] gmail.com

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