As the Labour candidate in Southport Paul Brant won our respect even if we didn't always agree with him. Now he is Liverpool City Council's budget supremo and has put together an all party budget (Lab/LibDem/Green).It is very instructive and shows what needs to be done to balance council's budgets. Please compare and contrast with the antics of Bootle Labour Party who are happy to vote against seemingly all cuts and suggest to every protester that the reductions are not needed.
Here is an extract from Paul Brant's cabinet report
Libraries and Leisure Centres
The resources available to Libraries and Leisure Centres have been reduced by 28% in
order to protect care services to the vulnerable - such as homeless hostels, mental
health services and short beaks for disabled children.
Libraries budget will be cut by £458,000 in 2011/12 rising to £1.9m in 2012/13.
Leisure centre funding will be cut by £1.6m in 2011/12 rising to £2.7m in 2012/13.
The Council will shortly commence a consultation with the public, service users, interest
groups and staff to establish the best way of delivering the savings. The consultation will
include offering local communities the chance to take over the running of facilities, wholly
or part time. The Council would prefer to foster co-operative organisations (of staff,
service users or residents) to maintain service provision, however it will also work with
the private sector where appropriate to maintain provision.
While the closure of facilities cannot be excluded, the Council wishes to explore all
alternative options with partners to prevent this occurring.
The Early Intervention Grant which funds Children's Centres has been cut by the
Government by almost one half. The loss of grant over the spending settlement period is
The Council has protected the Children's centres from the full effect of the Government
cut and will only reduce Children's Centre's funding over this period by £10m .
The Council will protect the vast majority of the 26 Children's Centres. The funding
reduction means that the Council will commence consultation on reduced provision and
the closure of 4 Children's Centres. It is hoped that the consultation will produce
alternative proposals which will deliver the same savings and prevent any closure of
services. The Council remains open to all suggestions from the Voluntary Sector, service
users, residents and other stakeholders.
While the Council notes that some Council's (Hammersmith and Fulham, etc) are
proposing to close all of their Children's Centres, Liverpool City Council remains
committed to continuing Children's Centres which it believes provide a valuable and
much needed service