Leicester City Council to cut further £61m from budget

Sir Peter Soulsby
Image caption Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the city was being "handed the axe" by the government

All council services will come under scrutiny as Leicester City Council aims to make budget cuts of £61m by 2018, the city mayor says.

Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said "root and branch" examination of city services including backroom staff, children's services and elderly care.

The Labour-led city council has already cut £85m from its budget since 2010.

Local taxpayers will also be consulted with the details of where the cuts will be made announced later this year.

Children's centres

"The government is passing on the cuts to local councils up and down the land - and saying: 'You use the axe for us'," said Sir Peter.

He said cultural institutions like the Curve Theatre and De Montfort Hall had "already had to do some very significant belt tightening".

"It is important that we continue to invest in the city - and its arts and cultural life - if we want to see visitors continuing to come the city," Sir Peter added.

"We are in the process of looking at re-examining things that have already had some fairly severe cuts - the back office staff, child's social care, elderly services and the whole range of what the council does.

Council Conservative leader Ross Grant said: "We were given money in the past and it wasn't spent efficiently - partly because of rules imposed by the previous (Labour) government.

"It is a good idea to allow the local government to decide where they want to spend the money they receive - and to give them more freedom about deciding locally what services we spend it on."

Previous cuts by the city council have resulted in some children's centres reducing opening hours and the cancellation of free leisure facilities for the over 60s.

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