For the past two weeksm all eyes have been on Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. The “Friendly Games” are as much about showcasing some of the best athletes in the world as they are about giving the next generation of sporting superstars the chance to compete on the world stage.
But for many young people cheering on their heroes, it has not been all fun and games this summer.
Local services such as leisure centres have been bearing the brunt of Tory cuts since 2010. Prices soaring out of reach, staff being cut, swimming lessons scrapped, maintenance skimped or centres closed down altogether. Once again it’s a sorry tale of the government not matching funding with local need, leaving many communities high and dry.
With obesity in the UK on an alarming upward trend, and all the talk about the legacy of the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, local leisure centres have a vital role to play.
Our Save our Local Services campaign has been in full swing over the school holidays, highlighting the devastating effects that cuts to local services are having on families. Children’s centres, parks, libraries and museums have been in the government’s firing line, making it more difficult and more expensive to find meaningful activities to keep children active and healthy.
And the cuts are hitting our members hard. They are working tirelessly, on dwindling pay, to keep local services running with fewer resources.
Cuts to services are a reality in all local authorities. Jobs continue to be shed at an alarming rate, terms and conditions are under threat and those members who are left are required to do more for the same or less.
That is why local government workers from all unions will once again join forces on 14 October for a second day of strike action. Pay remains a priority, and our members are saying loud and clear to government that enough is enough.