The people of Bristol are being urged to protest tomorrow (Tuesday 13 September) against government imposed cuts of over £100 million up to 2020 which could see an initial 1,000 city council staff being made redundant.
The protest, organised by Bristol People’s Assembly with the support of Unite, the country’s largest union, will be at 17.00 at College Green (BS1 5TF), as the full city council meets to discuss the crisis.
Unite said that should the planned cuts go-ahead they will eviscerate care for older and vulnerable adults, and support for children and families as the city council wrestles with the £60 million funding axe by 2020, starting in April 2017.
In addition, the council has revealed a shortfall in the savings that should have been achieved between 2014 and 2017 of £43 million.
To balance the books, the council plans to make 1,000 employees redundant. The council’s total workforce is 6,500. However, this will save only £29 million from the shortfall of £43 million.
Unite regional officer Stuart Davies said: “Now is the time for the people of Bristol to make their collective voice heard and shout from the roof tops that: ‘Enough is enough’.
“We urge local people to turn up to tomorrow’s protest so that councillors recognise the strength of feeling against these ideologically-driven cuts dictated by a Tory government that are impossible to achieve without hollowing-out vital council services that people rely on 24/7.
“Unite welcomes the commitment by the council leadership to work with the joint unions to understand why such a gulf in the balance sheet exists.
“However, it is clear to Unite why the council is in this financial situation and this is the grossly unrealistic cuts demanded by the Tory government.
“We are entering dangerous uncharted territory for the future of local government services in Bristol – and also across the country as other local authorities grapple with similar financial nightmares.”
The joint unions have suggested a four-point plan to mitigate the scale of what is proposed.
- Meaningful consultations on a plan to deliver quantifiable savings to deal with the current budget shortfall and future savings
- A review of the decisions behind the budget shortfall in the 2014-2017 period
- A review of consultancy, agency and casual contracts to ensure value for money from these contracts in future
- The mayor Marvin Rees to make representations to Whitehall on the state of local government finance and the impact on Bristol’s 450,000 population of these cuts.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.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.