Closures, cuts and price increases as council slashes costs

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some children centres may have to close, a library will shut and homecare charges will increase as a council faces having to make £16m savings.

Labour’s draft budget proposals for Hull Council will also see meals on wheels going up 20 per cent – although the council, says the £2.54 charge will still be one of the lowest in the country.

Three customer service centres, Calvert Lane, Preston Road and Walker Street, will also close along with the partial closure of the Ings CSC, with the loss of up to 30 jobs.

Library hours will be reduced and the Anlaby Park library will close.

The group said the council cannot sustain the £4.6m cost of all 21 children centres, after the Government changed its funding formula. Deputy leader Coun Daren Hale said they were looking to make £600,000 of savings: “Some children centres are big stand-alone buildings, others are in individual rooms in schools; we will have to look at the smaller satellites first where there is less demand for services.”

There will be a 10 per cent cut to the council’s in-house youth service and 10 per cent for voluntary sector commissioning.

The council will also remove the £99-a-week cap on homecare charges, affecting 300 people, and start charging for transport to day centres and lunches.

Coun Hale said: “We are the last council in Yorkshire and Humberside to have a cap on home care. People will be means tested for services they receive. It is likely people will get benefit income to pay for these services.”

Moves to cut free school transport for around 1,000 children have already caused a furore, although the council insists another 900 children from low income families would remain exempt from the charges.

However the council is protecting funding for the School Music Service.

Around £10m of capital has been set aside to help make for plans, including proposals for a Hockney gallery, a reality.

In a surprise move the council, which has already announced it is axeing another 240 jobs in its business support section, said it would buy the site of the former National Picture Theatre in Beverley Road.

The building was bombed during the Second World War and campaigners have been trying to turn it into a memorial to the 1,200 civilians who died in the Blitz.

Coun Hale said: “We have lost 8p in the pound of the grant funding for this year which is forcing us to make some difficult decisions, but we have done so while protecting essential services.”

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