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Cuts will hit young and old - Labour; BUDGET: Ruling Tories say services need not be harmed.

Byline: Les Reid

NEXT year's pounds 10 millio Covetry coucil cuts pla will hit everythig from schools to care for the elderly, say oppositio coucillors. But Tory coucil leaders saysavigscabeachieved by more efficiet workig i ad outside the coucil, without harmig services to people.

They have pledged a extra pounds 1 millio a year to pay for more qualified social workers tacklig child abuse, amid atioal cocer sice the death of Baby Peter i Harigey, Lodo.

Ad they say coucil bosses will ot be exempt from job cuts. Te seior maagemet posts will go, as well as oe amog the top te executive earers o six-figure salaries.

More details have emerged sice the Telegraph exclusively revealed the Budget plas o Saturday.

Measures to balace the books iclude: Askig schools to pay for salary icreases from ay Sigle Status awards promotig equal pay maily for wome.

Cuts i grats to some childre's cetres ad commuity cetres.

Savigs from social care for elderly ad disabled adults.

A review of street cleaig ad grouds maiteace.

Freezig budgets across coucil departmets, with o icrease for iflatio.

A further three per cet cut i coucil grats to all volutary orgaisatios ad charities. Cuttig the budget of city cetre maagemet compay CV Oe by up to te per cet.

Further cuts i the coucil's budget for Performig Arts i schools. A review of library budgets ad maagemet.

Icreasig charges for city coucil services agai above iflatio by three per cet, possibly icludig car parkig charges. Labour group leader Cou Joh Mutto said: "This Budget has serious implicatios for elderly people, childre ad the may hard workig small charities who are carryig out excellet work for vulerable people, which would otherwise have to be picked up by the coucil."

But coucil leaders say at least half the savigs had already bee ideti-fied through efficiecy savigs, ad better ways of workig with parter orgaisatios.

Tory coucil deputy leader Kevi Foster gave examples of bureaucratic savigs i adult social care resultig from givig disabled more people idepedet cotrol over their grats, ad better workig with idepedet orgaisatios. He said savigs i coucil grats to commuity ad childre's cetres, ad arts services i schools, could be achieved where those services were ow beig delivered by other grats ad orgaisatios.

Ad fiacial waste could be cut out with better workig betwee the coucil adCVOewithout affectig work to attract busiesses ad keepig citycetre streets clea.

Coucil bosses say fi-acial pressures have icluded a fall i icome from the property market dowtur ad less Coucil Tax beig collected due to the recessio.

They also wat to restrict Coucil Tax rises to 2.5 per cet, below this year's 3.8 per cet. But it is still above the curret iflatiomeasure used by the coucil of 2 per cet.

CAPTION(S):

CUTS... schools and care for the elderly will be hit and (below) John Mutton and Kevin Fostere
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 16, 2009
Words:484
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