Up to six government agencies based in Birmingham face the axe under government plans to scrap so-called quangos.
The coalition government said the cuts would make government more accountable by removing unelected bodies, but Labour spokesman Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) said it may cost more to close the bodies than to keep them open.
Threatened organisations include Capacitybuilders, based in Paradise Circus, which is funded by the government and helps charities and voluntary groups use government services.
Also facing the axe is “Commission for the Compact”, also in Paradise Circus, which oversees government efforts to help community organisations.
The Government confirmed plans to close the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, in Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, and to merge the Gambling Commission, in Victoria Square, with the National Lottery Commission, in London.
Proposals to close the Consumer Council for Water in Victoria Square, which represents customers of the water companies, are “under consideration” according to a Government statement.
Closure of the Local Better Regulation Office, in Holliday Street, Birmingham, is also “under consideration”.
Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “We know that for a long time there has been a huge hunger for change. People have been fed up with the old way of doing business, where the Ministers they voted for could often avoid taking responsibility for difficult and tough decisions by creating or hiding behind one of these quangos.”
A total of 192 quangos across the country are to be scrapped under the Government’s plans.
Mr Maude said a further 118 bodies would be merged and another 171 “substantially” reformed in the long-awaited “bonfire of the quangos”.
But Mr Byrne said: “Labour had a plan for steadily saving half a billion by carefully closing 25 per cent of quangos over the next few years.
“The Tories now need to tell us whether their desperation for headlines and faster cuts means the cost of closing quangos is actually bigger than the savings.”
Union leaders described the abolition of public bodies as “short-sighted, undemocratic and a waste of public funds.”
Paul Noon, general secretary of civil service union Prospect, warned: “This is more than a quango cull, it’s a massacre of the innocents. In many cases the Government is abolishing bodies that cost peanuts but provide invaluable scientific or other expert advice to government.
“In other cases the costs of closure are greater than their running costs, or closure runs directly counter to the Prime Minister’s call for a big society.”