Stoke-on-Trent City council approves £21m cuts

Some of the protesters About 200 people gathered outside the Civic Centre to protest at the proposals ahead of the meeting

Related Stories

Stoke-on-Trent councillors have approved plans to cut £21m from next year's budget.

About 200 protesters gathered ahead of the meeting, which was set to approve shedding more than 200 jobs.

The council has seen £1m come out of its budget because it returned European regeneration cash which was not spent within a stipulated time limit.

Chief executive John van de Laarschott said similar grants were used within deadlines.

The £1m was part of a £4.7m grant for regeneration projects awarded by the European Regional Development Fund between 2000 and 2006.

Last month, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) clawed back that money, along with more than £20,000 more incurred through auditing costs.

Start Quote

The council needs to recognise the strength of feeling is coming from right across the city - nobody wants the cuts”

End Quote Alan Barrett March On Stoke
'Stringent monitoring'

Mr van de Laarschott said: "There were no issues in terms of what the money was spent on because we've delivered the outcomes.

"We spent the money later than we should have done and as such we face a penalty and the penalty is you need to pay back those monies that were defrayed outside of the time period.

"In our case that's £1m.

"Since then we have, with support from DCLG, put in much more stringent monitoring and reporting systems."

A six-week public consultation on the Labour-led council's 2013-14 budget began in November.

Before the meeting started at 17:30 GMT, Simon Green, regional officer for Unite, said the cuts to wages and jobs was "disproportionate" and would affect the lower-paid workers most.

Alan Barrett, chairman of the March On Stoke group, said: "The council needs to recognise the strength of feeling is coming from right across the city - nobody wants the cuts.

"They're not only affecting workers but elderly people, children who access youth services - the cuts always start at the bottom, they're never top down."

Jason Hill, of North Staffordshire Against The Cuts, said: "We want this council to make a stand against the government and say: 'We're going to have a deficit in our budget'.

"We're opposed to the cuts, especially with the building of a new civic centre for millions of pounds."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites



Min. Night 5 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents

  • Record playing on turntableVinyl destination

    The eight tribes of people who keep buying records

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane on 19 AprilIn pictures

    Fighter jets and screaming crowds for William and Kate

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.