Birmingham & Black Country

Connexions 'will survive' in Birmingham despite cuts

Image caption The debate brought together a range of figures from across the Midlands who will be affected by the cuts

The deputy leader of Birmingham City Council has pledged the Connexions youth careers service will survive the forthcoming cuts.

Councillor Paul Tilslely said the service faced a 17% cut in its budget, but fears it may shut were groundless.

He was speaking in the Spending Review: The Midlands Today Debate at The Public arts centre in Sandwell.

It examined how forthcoming public spending cuts could affect the West Midlands.

Closure rumours

More than 200 people feared they were going to lose their jobs if Connexions was closed, and a rally was held in Birmingham's Victoria Square earlier this week in protest.

Mr Tilsley told the programme: "Connexions will still be funded.

"It will have a reduced funding level, it will be reduced by 17% in real terms, but it will still exist."

Mr Tilsley hit out at rumours the service was going to close.

"There seems to be a great deal of disinformation and misinformation that's being spread by rumour and innuendo," he said.

The Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Reverend David Urquhart, said it was important the most vulnerable people did not suffer.

The Bishop told the debate he felt it was important people remained committed to the generosity of spirit he felt was characteristic of the Midlands region.

He said there were painful times ahead and the community needed to pull together.

"If we can maintain that, and have this vigorous economic debate, but notice that above all we will be judged by the way we deal with the most vulnerable," he added.

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