‘Cruel' Staffordshire council budget cuts hit vulnerable families, warns Unite

Services for safeguarding vulnerable children and for those suffering from domestic abuse are under serious threat due to the continuing swingeing cuts by Tory-controlled Staffordshire county council.

Unite, the country’s largest union, said that clinics and children’s centres in Staffordshire had already closed– and that nearly 40 job losses of health visitors and school nurses were on the cards, following cuts to health visiting and family nurse services last year.

The county council is cutting a further £2.5 million from the 0-19 years’ service for the financial year, starting April 2018.

Unite regional officer Frank Keogh said: “These cruel cuts are putting vital services, such as maternal and child mental health, child protection and domestic abuse, under even more severe strain.

“Recently implemented cuts have already hit hard in Staffordshire with the loss of children’s centres and support for breastfeeding mothers.

“Now, like a shark that has tasted blood, councillors are coming back to take another £2.5 million chunk from the already much reduced 0-19 years’ budget.

“This second financial hit will further reduce the numbers of health visitors and school nurses and therefore leave our children and families vulnerable. They are talking about 37 redundancies to the school nursing and health visitor teams.

“This is at a time when families need support more than ever as the impact of the government’s austerity agenda continues to attack children and their services. Our health visitors and school nurses believe Staffordshire children deserve better than this.

“These services help many thousands of families in Staffordshire and they need to make their voices heard at the local council elections on Thursday (3 May) as part of the campaign to get these cuts reversed.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065. Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.