Birmingham City Council has revealed that it expects to cut budgets by £100 million over the next two years to comply with the Government’s public spending clamp-down.
Leaders of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition are to meet at the end of this week to plan how to wield the axe without harming front-line services.
Cabinet members and officials have decided to meet behind closed doors for two days in an attempt to thrash out a savings plan.
Chancellor George Osborne has told the council to trim this year’s spending as part of his £6 billion national cost-cutting programme.
Final figures are yet to be confirmed for Birmingham.
But city bosses expect they will have to trim £23 million from approved spending plans.
They say that is likely to be followed by a far higher £80 million cut in 2011/12 – and even more over the following years as part of their contribution to paying off the government’s massive debt.
Council director of resources Paul Dransfield said Mr Osborne’s announcement was “at the higher end of our expectations”.
Mr Dransfield added: “The key message is that we have been planning for this since January.
“We started early and we have the structure in place for councillors to take the difficult decisions.” He warned of uncertainty about the scale of cuts Birmingham must make next year.
The results of a government spending review will not be known until the end of the year, giving councils little time to plan 2011/12 budgets.
Cuts already announced for this year include £12.6 million from Be Birmingham, the council-led partnership responsible for co-ordinating the assault on unemployment, crime and social deprivation.
Government grants for city schools will be reduced by 25 per cent, just over £7 million.
A question mark remains over plans for the Midland Metro tram extension and the Building Schools for the Future scheme. Both are being reviewed by Ministers.