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"MACHO" MULLANEY SLATED OVER CUTS

24-12-2009

Cllr Martin Mullaney

Festive spirit is in short supply among Birmingham councillors with Labour’s deputy leader Ian Ward accusing Lib Dem Cabinet Member Martin Mullaney of “macho posturing” over proposed cuts in Hall Green – the constituency at the front line of massive savings due to be rolled across the city in the New Year.

Ward was responding to news that as part of efforts to slash £1.8million from the Hall Green budget, Mullaney – who is vice-chair of the Constituency - is planning pdf to get rid of enhanced Saturday pay for library staff, raid the book budget, and reduce public opening hours at Moseley Road baths.

This follows his recent decision to put the management of the city’s golf courses out to tender, and close Hill Top golf course - a decision which is due to be signed off today.

Cllr Ward said: “We’re going to call in the Hall Green report, because what’s going on is now is an attack on sport and leisure in the city.

“We have a Cabinet member who is trying to prove he’s to the right of the Tories by trying to privatise services and sack staff. It's macho posturing. He wants to show he’s a hard man.”

Mullaney was unavailable for comment last night, but details of the acute financial pressure being applied to Hall Green emerged on The Stirrer Forum on Tuesday after being posted by regular blogger Barnard Hobbit.

The constituency’s revenue costs are being slashed by £383,000, it’s being asked to repay back overspends of £663,000, and find a further £768,000 because of “additional budgetary pressures” – these include the removal of free school swimming subsidies, pay and grading increases, and unspecified “income shortfalls”.

This all seems to bear out The Stirrer’s warning made in November which revealed that all of the city’s constituencies will be required to make swingeing cuts early in the New Year.

Areas identified for the axe include city libraries and the book budget.

Unfortunately, our efforts to find out how these severe budgetary pressures are likely to affect other areas hit a brick wall when we contacted the Council yesterday.

All we were told was that details would be presented to full Council in due course.

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