News of a further 1,000 job losses at Birmingham city council has put pressure on the communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles to reel in his deep and damaging financial policies.
Unite, Britain’s biggest union, fears that by 2015 there will be little local government left after a five year 43 per cent real terms cut in funding. Cuts of this scale will lead, not just to service cutbacks, but to the complete decommissioning of services.
Thousands of people took to Twitter last week to challenge Eric Pickles about the scale of council cuts. They will be disappointed to learn that he has pulled out of this evening’s grilling by the communities and local government select committee.
Unite said it would campaign hard to mitigate the job losses and cuts to vital services which threatens services for Birmingham’s frail and elderly and requiring disability respite care.
Fiona Farmer, Unite national officer, said: “Eric Pickles is presiding over the complete meltdown of local services. We will be the biggest losers as the services and the people we rely on to educate and care for our families are demolished.
“Birmingham council, like many other of the country’s poorest councils, is struggling against a backdrop of huge government cutbacks to local budgets. It’s time the man in charge took his head out of the sand and told us what he’s going to do about the loss of services and local jobs.
“Services, such as care for the frail and elderly, support for vulnerable families, sexual health services around teenage pregnancy and Connexions services are threatened with closure. How can this government claim its cuts are fair and just when it is the most vulnerable and lowest paid who will suffer most from the loss of their services?
“Last week thousands of people took to Twitter to ask Eric Pickles about his damaging council cuts. Questions ranging from cuts to youth services and library closures to how councils will fund even their statutory duties in the future were to be put to the communities and local government secretary this evening, but he pulled out at the last minute.”
For further information please contact Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey