The National Audit Office (NAO) report on the impact of local government spending cuts on services highlights the coalition’s ‘disastrous’ policies which are hitting vulnerable people and some of the country’s most deprived areas.
Unite, the country’s largest union, today (Wednesday 30 January) called for communities secretary Eric Pickles to reverse the cuts to local councils which could total 28 per cent during the lifetime of this parliament.
Unite national officer for local authorities Fiona Farmer said: “The NAO report confirms the disastrous direction of travel that Eric Pickles has forced local councils on.
“Local government is one of the key areas of government spending that is bearing the brunt of these savage cuts.
“Research shows that the worst cuts are hitting councils as far afield as Great Yarmouth, Hastings and Preston. Pickles’ pick-axe is hitting some of the country’s most deprived areas.
“This is at a time when the demand for, and pressure on services, such as adult social care, is increasing month by month.
“Council finances are on a knife-edge and long-valued services, such as libraries, are being axed and thousands of council employees face losing their jobs, further hitting the local economies where they spend their earnings.
“We call on Eric Pickles to reverse these draconian cuts before the full impact hits home. The NAO suggests that councils have only delivered half the savings demanded by the government’s so-called target date of March 2015.”
The NAO said there had been cuts to libraries and social care, and some councils faced a ‘challenge’ to meet their obligations while avoiding financial difficulties.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.