HUNDREDS of jobs will be lost and 12 children’s centres, eight libraries and a museum will close over the next four years, under plans described as the most horrific cuts to ever hit Walsall Council.
It comes as the authority has to save £86 million by March 2019 – including £29.2 million in the next year alone.
Councillor Sean Coughlan, leader of the council, said it was a “difficult day for Walsall” and that the cuts were “the most horrific” Walsall Council had ever faced.
Draft four-year plans revealed in a press conference today (Monday) stated that 482 potential redundancies are being proposed between April 2015 and March 2017. Of those posts, 112 are vacant.
Twelve children’s centres will also close over the next two years, saving £1.8 million. Details on which children’s centres could close have not been confirmed or included in the proposals.
There will also be a reduction in youth services to save £2 million. Bosses have assured that vulnerable children will not be affected.
Plans were also announced to cull eight libraries.
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Councillor Sean Coughlan, Leader of Walsall Council, has announced his new cabinet following the successful motion from Labour councillors at this week’s council meeting to take control of the council.
Thirty one members voted for the motion, 12 against and 16 abstained.
The council was previously run by a minority Conservative administration as no party has overall control.
Councillor Mohammad Nazir will be Deputy Leader and will cover the Regeneration portfolio.
Children’s services will be covered by Councillor Barbara Cassidy.
Councillor Khizar Hussain will have responsibility for Community, Leisure and Culture.
Environment and Transport will be covered by Councillor Lee Jeavons.
Councillor Diane Coughlan will be responsible for the Social Care portfolio.
Health will be covered by Councillor Ian Robertson.
Councillor Keith Chambers will be a member of the cabinet with responsibility for Personnel and Business Support.
Councillor Sean Coughlan, leader of Walsall Council, said: “We face some challenging issues, but we have a vision of where we want Walsall to be and we look forward to turning this into a reality.”
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Labour take control of Walsall Council at today extra-ordinary Council Meeting after 14 years of Tory/Lib Dem coalition.
Votes 31 – 12
Labour got a full house with Mayor, Councillor Pete Smith voting with Labour.
Willenhall South Councillor Sean Coughlan, is now leader of Walsall Council.