Shoppers grill councillor on cuts

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CONCERNED residents have been granted the chance to grill a local councillor as Bulwell and the rest of Nottingham face up to fresh spending cuts aimed at saving £21 million.

Nottingham City Council must slash its budget over the coming years amid another reduction in funding from central government.

The £21 million is the total that needs to be saved in the coming year alone.

The impact will be felt by every household, with some frontline services in the firing line.

An example of the tough proposals include a plan to shut down the Marlstones care home on Aldgate Close in Bulwell.

Council chiefs say the venue is outdated and is a drain on resources because it costs £200,000 a year to run.

A final budget for the financial year from April through to March 2013 will be discussed by full council on Monday March 5.

In a bid to find out exactly what locals think of the proposals, the city council has staged a series of consultation events.

One was held on Bulwell Market Place where Coun Alan Clark (Lab), of Bulwell, who is the council’s lead member for energy and sustainability, was on hand to chat with shoppers

Speaking about the cuts, Coun Graham Chapman (Lab), deputy leader of the city council, said: “The government’s cuts are unfair on cities like Nottingham and will result in a higher impact on our citizens than elsewhere.

“We have done what we can to protect the most vulnerable and those frontline services which people rely on most, as well as creating opportunities for growth and jobs.

“But it is incredibly difficult when these cuts come on top of years of our own prudent efficiencies and last year’s £60 million of government cuts.

“We are also proposing a council tax increase of 3.49% because the government’s proposed council-tax-freeze grant for next year is a one-off, rather than being locked in to future financial settlements.

“This means that it would cost us and the citizens of Nottingham a lot more in the long run.”

n OUR PHOTO shows Coun Clark chatting to resident Muriel Wilkinson during one of the consultation events, which was held on Bulwell Market Place — DISPIC NHUD12-0214-1.