Gloucestershire

Tewkesbury Borough Council announces £1.5m of savings

Plans to cut £1.5m (13%) from Tewkesbury Borough Council's budget for 2010/11 have been approved.

The coalition of Conservative and Liberal Democrats said up to 20 jobs out of 300 could go and 33 other areas of savings would be considered.

Lib Dem councillors proposed an amendment - which was rejected - which suggested councillors should take a £1,000 cut in their allowances.

The £38,000 saved would have been used to subsidise a taxi voucher scheme.

This supports the elderly vulnerable and disabled of the borough.

'Generous' allowance

The budget was approved by 22, with five against and one abstention.

Voting against the budget was deputy leader Phil Taylor (Lib Dem). He said councillors' allowances at £9,000 per year were "quite generous".

"The cut of £1,000 in the allowance... is equivalent to the type of cut central government are proposing on this council and the pain people across the county are taking in cuts to their income," Mr Taylor said.

But council leader Robert Vines (Cons), said the budget working group had worked "long and hard" on the budget for the past 10 months.

"We weren't very keen on changing things on the hoof when we've managed to get the figures to all stack up to make £1.5m of savings," he said.

The cut in budget comes after the amount of money the council receives from the government was reduced.

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