Staffordshire Braces Itself for 30% Cuts

Staffordshire Braces itself for 30% Cuts & Questions the Impact It Will Have on the Wider Community

Staffordshire Branch of UNISON condemns the decision made on 22nd July 2010 to cut £120 million from council budgets which equates to 30% over a 3 year period. 

Jane Heath, Branch Secretary, said “This level of cuts is unbelievable.  Members have already braced themselves for 25% cuts over 4 years, but this figure goes way above what is required by Government.  Let us not forget that the financial situation has been caused by the bankers, but once again it is other people’s jobs and services to the public that are required to be sacrificed to balance the accounts.” 

“What must not be forgotten is the impact this will have on Staffordshire communities and to the local economy.  The Conservative ethos is very much about personal and community responsibility.  Presumably this also includes taking on the responsibility of what job losses will mean to that community in terms of unemployment, support for those families affected and the impact that it will have with reduced ability to buy goods and services from local businesses.”

“At full Council, a great deal of commitment was given to the people of Staffordshire.  That every single pound will count.  Staffordshire will deliver a service that the people want and need.  The Coalition Government has already failed to provide what communities wanted by cutting the Building Schools for the Future programme.  Not part of the efficiency savings, but to use elsewhere.  What has happened in Tamworth is testimony to that and is an ideological decision rather than an economic one.” 

“Staffordshire County Council has not stood still over recent years with efficiency savings; the ongoing reviews and restructures are evidence of this.  Wholesale cuts can therefore only result in wholesale loss of services and jobs.  There is much talk of a difference between frontline and back office services, but there is an argument that these are not two separate entities.  The reality is that in many services what is termed as back office, if removed would have serious implications on delivery of the frontline services that they support.” 

“We await details from Council on how the 30% cuts will actually be achieved, whilst providing the services that the people of Staffordshire want, need, expect and deserve.”