The 253,000 people served by Southampton city council will be dished up a menu of such unpalatable cuts that vital public services will be decimated, if the Tories take over after the local elections on 5 May.
As a wake-up call to residents in the run-up to the local council elections on Thursday 5 May, Unite, the country’s largest union and public service union Unison have paid for a full page advert in the Southampton Echo tomorrow (Friday 22 April).
Unite regional officer Ian Woodland said: “What we fear is the Tories taking control of the city council after 5 May as their leader is ideological Brexit supporter Cllr Jeremy Moulton and committed to serving up an unpalatable menu of cuts that will salami slice public services.
“The unions that represent the 3,800-strong council workforce appreciate that the authority faces a £60 million funding gap by 2017/18, which has been made worse by the massive ‘austerity’ cuts to local government made by Whitehall since 2010.
“In the past few years we have worked exhaustively with the council leadership to safeguard services. There is a plan in place to do that in coming years, despite the large hit to the budget.
“Our concerns are two-fold that a change of administration could put all this at risk and voters need full disclosure because they are the service finders and users.
“We don’t feel that Tory councillors have been as open as they should be with the electorate as to what is on the cards in terms of cuts to council services, such as adult and children’s social care; and waste and recycling.
“We are writing to all political parties contesting seats on 5 May urging greater transparency and constructive dialogue with the staff side unions to show moves to outsource is not the answer to providing quality services to the Southampton community.
“That’s why we are asking four questions in the advertisement including asking councillors if the council intends to outsource services to a private company and seeking a commitment that there will be no more changes to the workforce’s pay, terms and conditions and job security.”
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.