News that Birmingham city council, the biggest council in the country, is to go ahead with 1,000 more job cuts is a searing indictment of the coalition government and its devastating council cuts.
Unite, the country’s biggest union, says that the council has been forced into an impossible position after the government slashed core grant funding again in March. Projected budget cuts of £615 million by 2017 have since ballooned to £840 million as a result.
The union warns that the biggest losers will be the people of Birmingham who rely on council staff to keep their streets cleans, bins emptied, elderly cared for and roads maintained.
Birmingham - one of Britain’s most deprived areas - has suffered some of the biggest council cuts, according to a recent Labour party study. The funding formulas used by the government means that while Birmingham has lost 23.3 per cent from Whitehall, richer areas, like Tory-run Wokingham, will get a 1.1 per cent rise.
Lynne Shakespeare, Unite regional officer, said: “Not surprisingly, Birmingham is in the top 10 of councils to suffer the biggest cuts, while some rich Tory-shires are actually seeing budget rises. Whatever happened to ‘we’re all in this together’?
“The government is letting the people of Birmingham down in the most appalling way, as it squeezes ever more money from the council’s coffers. The services people rely on to look after their children and care for elderly relatives will be slashed.
"Such a devastating blow to the people of Birmingham should send shock waves through Westminster. Cuts on this scale are simply not sustainable.”
According to the most recent data, 13,268 people work at the council, a 31.5 per cent drop in the workforce since 2010.
For further information please contact Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774 146 777
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
- 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.