Unite national officer for local authorities Jim Kennedy commenting on the Local Government’s Association’s (LGA) warning that there is an £8 billion hole in council budgets, said:

“The cuts in local council funding are changing the nature of society.

"We are witnessing constant cuts to essential services which affect the most vulnerable in society such as the very young and the elderly.

“Up and down the country local communities are seeing the closure of libraries, swimming pools and parks amongst many other much needed amenities, as a direct result of councils being continuously forced into slashing budgets.

“These cuts and closures are changing the fabric of local communities.

“The closures and cuts in opening times of much needed facilities is resulting in people’s lives becoming more difficult and more miserable.

“The government needs to take an urgent reality check and properly examine the effects that council cuts have had on society. It needs to stop the further planned cuts in funding and reverse the damage it has already done.”

Deepest cuts in Labour areas

The largest cuts in council funding have been in Labour local authorities which have seen an average fall of £500 per head while for Conservative areas the decline is just £115, nearly four times lower.

For example between 2011/12 and 2019/20 the Labour controlled London borough of Hackney has seen its spending power reduced by £1406.11 while Conservative controlled Wokingham council has during the same period seen its spending power actually increase by £39.31.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

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