Theatres and libraries protected as Portsmouth City Council wields spending axe

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COMMUNITY centres, libraries and public grants to theatres are to be protected by the council.

The Kings Theatre, Aspex Gallery and New Theatre Royal will not have any cuts in money they receive from the council.

Instead Portsmouth Cultural Trust, which runs the Guildhall, will have its contribution from taxpayers reduced by £20,000.

Community centres will have their grants trimmed back to protect them from closure and the belief is reserves should help make up the difference.

Dementia care is also set to be retained in the north of the city, as the council has identified Paulsgrove Community Centre to be an alternative location for the Patey Day Centre.

The day centre is set to be demolished and it’s expected transferring Patey services to the new home will help save £100,000 in running costs every year.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of the council, praised the work of Labour and Ukip in helping to put together a cross-party budget.

As reported, the Lib Dems chose not to work with the other parties and will be putting together their own budget.

Cllr Jones, pictured, said: ‘I want to say a huge thank you and give my full respect to Ukip and Labour who have worked with us to make sure there is a balanced budget.

‘We have managed to keep children’s centres, community centres open and leisure facilities open.

‘We have been going through contracts, looking at inflation rates and inflation on multimillion-pound agreements to save money.

‘We have taken a business aproach to the budget.

‘We are ensuring we are not making people redundant across the city. This is about us using public money as sensibly as possible.’