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Planning Centro’s future budget, part two

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Centro has produced audio and easy-read versions of its short-form consultation document on the transport authority’s future budget. Public consultation on the budget for the period from April 2014 to March 2016 is being undertaken from 25 November 2013 to 19 January 2014.

Here are the pages from the easy read version.

Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 01 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 02
Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 03 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 04
Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 05 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 06
Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 07 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 08
Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 09 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 10
Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 11 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 12
Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 13 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 14
Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 15 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 16
Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 17 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 18
Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 19 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 20
Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 21 Centro Future Budget Easy-Read page 22

Birmingham council leader Sir Albert Bore had said that Centro needs to ‘play its part’ in controlling expenditure but Centro’s budgeting has always been framed to deflect prospective cuts away from the organisation itself. In 2009 chief executive Geoff Inskip was ‘awarded‘ a £24,000-a-year rise because his £131,000 pay was ‘too low’.

As the Birmingham Mail revealed on 28 December 2013, Centro has ‘handed its 343 staff a £400 bonus for not being off sick’ at a cost of around £130,000.

[‘Centro staff given £400 bonus – for not being off sick’, Neil Elkes, Birmingham Mail]

Kevin Chapman, of the West Midlands Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Centro would be better off working out how they are going to maintain socially valuable public transport services such as senior citizens’ travel and subsidised buses when budgets are being cut, than paying themselves a bonus.”
[…]
[A spokesman for Centro] said: “The Executive Board felt it was important to recognise the hard work of staff in raising productivity against a difficult backdrop of financial constraint and job cuts. Staff will soon enter their fourth year without a pay rise and the size of workforce has also been cut by a sixth.”
[…]
The seven West Midlands councils who fund Centro, are also locked in talks with the transport authority over an expected £1.6 million underspend, due to falling passenger numbers, which they are hoping to either get back, or use to reduce next year’s funding package.

The budget consultation by-passes such topics, and public opinions are definitely not welcome on whether Centro should have 340-plus staff, bonuses for turning up for work, or a transport authority with no fewer than 27 councillors and eight committees.

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Written by beleben

December 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm

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