Why Bristol has to make £104m cuts

August 04 2017

BRISTOL City Council has no choice but to make swingeing cuts over the next five years, Mayor Marvin Rees told an audience in Fishponds.

BRISTOL City Council has no choice but to make swingeing cuts over the next five years, Mayor Marvin Rees told an audience in Fishponds.

Asked why the council could not defy the Government and set an illegal budget, Mr Rees said such an action would mean intervention from Westminster, with ministers deciding on spending priorities for the city, which would not be in the interests of local people.

"That would leave Bristol in a horrific situation and cause reputational damage," he told the meeting at the Vassall Centre.

Mr Rees, along with cabinet Councillors Craig Cheney and Asher Craig, was speaking at one of two meetings at the centre, which were part of a series of eight events as part of the  Your Neighbourhood consultation, which is open until September 5.

He outlined the council's ideas for making a start on saving £104m by 2020. These include shutting many libraries and public toilets and getting rid of some school crossing patrols as well as scrapping Neighbourhood Partnerships and cutting day services for disabled people to save £4.7m.

Residents questioned the panel about facilities for deaf people and about the possibility of introducing parish councils to deliver services that the city council could not longer provide.

Councillor Cheney said little interest had been shown in parish councils at an earlier consultation.

Councillor Craig said she would be glad to meet anyone who had alternative solutions for libraries and public toilets.

Comment at www.bristol.gov.uk/yourneighbourhood