Austerity is still very real for local services, says UNISON


Commenting on the publication of the government’s local government finance settlement for 2019/20, UNISON head of local government Jon Richards said:

“This is another £1bn dose of austerity for councils that will lead to yet more cuts to local services.

“In five years over £6bn has been slashed from central government funding for councils. This has forced many authorities to dig deep into their reserves to protect services and given them no option but to raise council tax for local residents.

“Now most councils’ cupboards are bare, and many services they aren’t legally required to provide are disappearing – youth centres, school crossing patrols, parks and allotments have all faced the chop.

“But council services are the glue that holds communities together, and as the safety net they provide for the vulnerable is squeezed, the very fabric of our society is under threat.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.