Local Government Cuts

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2011 National LGBT Conference
8 August 2011

Conference, over the last two years we have seen an unprecedented attack on public services, jobs, pay and conditions. We must remember that local government staff and service users are not the cause, greed within the banking industry is, but the Public Sector are having to pay for their greed.

We have seen the biggest attack on services since the ‘halcyon’ days of Margaret Thatcher and her government. This Con/Dem government have said that they can make cuts of between 25-40% without affecting frontline services, our members know different!

Latest figures show that ‘the preliminary estimate of Gross Domestic Product in the 2nd quarter growth was just 0.2%. In the three quarters since the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) this figure constitutes the sum total of economic growth, i.e. just 0.2% – with the previous 6 months having registered no growth at all’ (Socialist Bulletin 2009).

Services and jobs in relation to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) services have been hit, many services, especially within the voluntary sector have had their grant allocations decimated, and this will have a very negative effect on the lives of the most vulnerable in our community. An example of this was the recent attempt by Birmingham City Council to cut up to £51 million pounds from their social care budget. This is just one example of the impact that these cuts are having on our community.

We do not live in a vacuum, our LGBT members work in all sectors of local government and access services from all area be this as service users or carers. Across the country we have seen action by UNISON members, branches and fellow trade unionists to fight back against the cuts. The ‘Fighting Cuts – A toolkit for UNISON Branches’ offers members and branches a great insight into the current economic situation and a campaign tool.

We therefore call on the LGBT Committee to:

1.Ensure that all regional groups have a copy of the Toolkit;

2.Encourage Regional and Branch groups to join local anti-cuts partnerships;

3.Encourage Regional and Branch groups to be visible on all public demonstrations with banners and leaflets etc;

4.Ensure that cuts to LGBT services are monitored via feedback from branches and Regional committees.