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REBEL LABOUR GROUP TO EXPOSE EXTENT OF BIRMINGHAM'S CUTS

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A group of Labour members of Birmingham City Council are to defy its leadership and hold a public meeting toddy to ...
A group of Labour members of Birmingham City Council are to defy its leadership and hold a public meeting toddy to expose proposed 'secret cuts' which they way will devastate services and involve some of the city's flagship projects, reports The Birmingham Post (p6).

Cllr Richard Evans told the Post: 'We believe there should be an open debate about these cuts. It's a pity that the leadership of the council has not called this meeting but we are determined to make the horrific scale of the cuts public.'

The authority is likely to face a budget shortfall of between £61m and £68m in 1996/97 which could lead to 1,000 job losses. Every department has been asked to examine cuts of up to 14%, and chief executive Michael Lyons has already suggested ending the £2.6m equal opportunities units.

Council leader Theresa Stewart denies that proposals are being kept secret. 'In 25 years on the council I have never known a budget process where the figures have been discussed so openly with so many people.'
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