Stoke-on-Trent city council should urgently reconsider plans to axe about 250 jobs so that it can give a financial boost to children’s services, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Monday 19 August).

Unite said that what is being proposed by the council, controlled by a coalition of Tories and City Independents, is ‘a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul’.

The cuts’ proposal - to be considered by the full council on 17 October – comes in the wake of a report by Ofsted inspectors that was highly critical of the running of the authority’s children’s services. 

Unite regional officer Mick Stevens said: “This is another example of the adverse impact of nearly a decade of the Tories taking the financial cudgels to local government funding.

“What we have here is a classic case of 'robbing Peter to pay Paul’. Cutting about 250 jobs from services across the council to give a much-needed improvement to children’s services should not be an ‘either or’ decision.

“I will be meeting Unite’s reps to discuss the proposals and I have asked for a meeting with Labour councillors regarding our serious concerns.

“It is clear that the staff are being betrayed by an unholy alliance of Tories and City Independents that believes in a discredited austerity regime with funding cuts being their Holy Grail.

“We don’t believe that the residents of Stoke-on-Trent are best served by this unpalatable diet of cuts and call on councillors to urgently reconsider the plans.”

Unite’s Community branch for Stoke has launched an online petition protesting at the cuts. View your ePetition. It has already attracted more than 770 signatures and closes on 23 September.

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

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