Cuts challenged

A voluntary organisation is to challenge Birmingham Council’s
decision to cut its budget in a high court judicial review.

Birmingham District Citizens Advice Bureau was contesting the
council’s plan to slash its core funding by £200,000 over the
next three years. It currently receives almost £700,000 from
the council. It argued that the council failed to adequately
consult before the cuts were agreed in February.

Cuts would mean redundancies and would have a “catastrophic”
impact on services for the most poor and needy people in the west
Midlands, including free legal advice and representation, says the

Mr Justice Turner refused the charity’s application to
immediately stop the cuts pending the judicial review. Instead, the
council will have to back pay the charity if it wins its

The charity’s solicitor Phil Shiner said: “We expect to go on
and win it, but we hope that sense will prevail and that Birmingham
will rethink this decision. It’s a minute amount compared with
their budget; the sky would not fall in.”

The charity runs eight area offices, 12 health units, and two
specialist units.

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