When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Southampton City Council approves £14.4m budget cuts
5:16pm Wednesday 12th February 2014 in News
SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL this afternoon agreed budget cuts of over £14m for the next year.
Up to 35 people could lose their jobs as a result of the budget being agreed, and council tax in the city will rise by just under two per cent.
Labour councillor, Stephen Barnes-Andrews said : "The approach we have taken is to be as efficient as possible."
The cuts include axing the £110,000 subsidy to the free CityLink bus service, as well as 'deleting' a number of posts at the council that are currently vacant, in an attempt to keep the number of redundancies to a minimum.
The leader of the council, Cllr Simon Letts defended his group's record in "enhancing" Southampton by pointing to the Arts Complex, which work started on last year, and the Watermark West Quay project, which will begin in the autumn.
He also criticised Government funding cuts which he said had disproportionately hit Southampton in comparison with its more affluent neighbour, Winchester.
However the opposition attacked the Labour budget, ofering alternatives such as cutting the number of councillors.
Keith Morrell, from Putting People First, warned that following this year's budget there is now "nowhere for the council to hide" and that frontline services will be "brutalised" in subsequent years.
A single shout of "shame on you" came down from the public gallery as the result of he the vote was confirmed.
Only the Labour group voted for the budget, but due to the party's majority, the fact that all of he them voted for it got it over the line.
An alternative budget from the Lib Dems was defeated, with just two Liberal Democrat councillors voting for it.