Budget plans to be passed

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Ruling Liberal Democrats’ plans to save £84 million from Sheffield Council’s 2011/12 budget are set to be approved today - after Labour declined to put forward their own proposals.

Lib Dems are the largest party on the council but do not have a majority. They could have seen their proposals defeated and alternatives passed by Labour with support of two Green councillors and a lone independent.

But Labour say they “do not have a political mandate” and would rather wait to see if they take power at the May elections.

Lib Dem plans involve axing incremental pay rises for staff, and cutting management, Police Community Support Officers, City Ambassadors and park rangers, while upping care services and parking fees.

Labour leader Coun Julie Dore said her party would hold a second budget meeting after the election to make changes.

The party would put £2.35m back into the council’s budget for a £500,000 apprenticeships scheme, and reinstate funding for 10 of the 25 council-funded Police Community Support Officers.

Some £400,000 would be restored to the adult social care service to avoid cuts in the value of payments, £260,000 would be restored to voluntary groups, and Museums Sheffield would have an extra £180,000.

Cuts proposed for Sure Start, nurseries, City Stewardship, school study support and youth activities would be reversed. Free rat control and subsidised bulky waste collections would return.

Labour would use £1.36m of Government cash held in reserve, sell unused minibuses, cut grants, further cut hours at recycling centres, and ask schools for a share of Government grants.