Birmingham Council leader Mike Whitby has announced today that his Council will be “enhancing our reputation yet further with our massive commitment to transforming community pools and waterspace in the City.” The claim came in his budget speech to the 120 City Councillors today. He told the elected members that the Council intended to make “efficiency savings” of £69 million this year, and reaffirmed that this could mean 1,500-2000 Council jobs being cut.
Castle Vale residents will be keen to know what he means by “transforming community pools.”
The situation with Vale’s pool is not simple. Birmingham Council is divided into ten constituencies (Vale is in Erdington Constituency). Each constituency manages some of its own services with its own budget. It is the constituency that has to deal with Vale’s swimming pool. The proposed cuts in services to the Castle Pool were made by Erdington Constituency Councillors because they had overspent their budget. In fact,Erdington has been the biggest overspender of all the constituencies in Birmingham. The crunch question is: what will the central City Council do if Erdington constituency fails to address its budget deficit? Will it lose patience, and demand that cuts are made? Will it take the matter out of local hands?
Councillor Whitby’s commitment to the city’s swimming pools is good news for swimmers….. but not necessarily for Vale swimmers.
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