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Birmingham City Council effectively declares bankruptcy after being hit by £760m bill

todaySeptember 5, 2023 13

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Birmingham City Council effectively declares bankruptcy after being hit by £760m bill

Birmingham City Council has effectively declared bankruptcy after being hit with a £760m bill to settle equal pay claims.

The council said it had issued a section 114 notice, confirming that all new spending, with the exception of protecting vulnerable people and statutory services, must stop immediately.

In a statement declaring itself in financial distress, the local authority said it will “tighten the spend controls already in place and put them in the hands of the section 151 officer to ensure there is complete grip”.

The Labour-run council is the largest local authority in Europe, comprising 101 councillors (65 Labour, 22 Conservative, 12 Liberal Democrat and two Green).

The statement read: “Birmingham City Council has issued a s.114 notice as part of the plans to meet the council’s financial liabilities relating to equal pay claims and an in-year financial gap within its budget which currently stands in the region of £87m.

“In June, the council announced it had a potential liability relating to equal pay claims in the region of £650m to £760m, with an ongoing liability accruing at a rate of £5m to £14m per month.

“The council is still in a position where it must fund the equal pay liability that has accrued to date (in the region of £650m to £760m), but it does not have the resources to do so.”

It added: “The council’s senior officers and members are committed to dealing with the financial situation and when more information is available it will be shared.”

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Councillor Robert Alden, leader of the Conservative opposition, said: “Labour’s failure in Birmingham has become clear for all to see. What Labour pledged as a golden decade ahead to voters in 2022 turns out to be based on budgets in 20/21 and 21/22 that did not balance and were unfunded.

“Combined with Birmingham Labour’s refusal to deal with equal pay over the last decade this has created this mess where residents will now lose valuable services and investment.”

He added: “Birmingham Labour have no grip of their mess and no ability to fix it, hence why the final say on spending control has now been removed from the Labour political leadership.”

Written by: Newsroom

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