New report shows devastating impact of council cuts

Investigation reveals that councils across England have sold public buildings and land to fund basic services and redundancy payments

Councils across England have been forced to sell buildings and land to pay for services and even redundancy packages, a new report published today show.

The report – a collaboration between The Huffington Post, regional journalists and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism – “illustrates the transformative nature that almost 10 years of austerity has had on our communities,” said UNISON head of local government Jon Richards.

Among a raft of findings, the investigation showed that one in six councils in England have used a total of £381m from selling buildings and land to pay for cost cutting since April 2016.

Almost a third of that – £115m – was spent on redundancy pay-outs.

“Decades of hard won progress are being steadily rolled back as the footprint of local councils shrinks thanks to the unremitting pressure which has been placed on councils,” said Mr Richards.

“The job losses also limit the effectiveness of council services to serve and support local people now and in the future, while also being a tragedy for the workers involved.

“The upcoming spending review is going to be pivotal for the future of local government. We must all work together to apply as much pressure as possible on the government to ensure that councils receive a major funding boost.”

You can read the full report on the The Bureau of Investigative Journalism website.