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Council approves plans to save £27.5m over three years
4:40pm Wednesday 13th February 2013 in Local
A RAFT of measures were approved by Dudley Council’s cabinet last night (Tuesday) – aimed at saving the authority £27.5 million over the next three years.
Councillor Pete Lowe, Dudley’s cabinet member for finance, told the meeting at Dudley Council House the package had been drawn up to “protect the services that need us most.”
But he said given the challenges, which include ever-increasing costs associated with care for elderly and vulnerable adults, it had not been possible to avoid controversial cuts completely.
Among money-saving measures outlined were plans to hike up housing rents for borough tenants by an average of 4.6 per cent.
Councillors gave the green light to price rises which mean the majority of council tenants will pay on average an extra £3.59 a week.
Just two per cent of borough tenants will pay the minimum weekly increase of £2.50 while seven per cent will be affected by the highest price hike of £4.51 or more a week.
The Board of the Dudley Federation of Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations dubbed the rises regrettable but agreed to the increase to help maintain services.
Plans to roll out wheelie bins for household waste in place of traditional black bin bags to “make more efficient collections” were also given the go-ahead.
Councillor Tracy Wood, cabinet member for environment and culture, stressed the new £2.5 million wheelie bin scheme, similar to the green wheelie bin system and which will be financed through savings from the sack service, would not result in redundancies and collections would still be carried out weekly.
The council also officially approved plans announced last week to freeze council tax for the next financial year.
Concerns raised about the budget, which included fears over a loss of funding in children’s services, look set to be discussed further at the next full council meeting on March 4.