Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Fwd: Stretched local services need protection from further cuts


From: Chris Russell <c.russell@connectpa.co.uk>
Date: 10 June 2015 18:13:02 BST
To: "graham.jones.mp@parliament.uk" <graham.jones.mp@parliament.uk>
Subject: Stretched local services need protection from further cuts

Dear Mr Jones,

Congratulations on your election as a Member of Parliament on 7 May 2015.

I am writing about the potential damage that decisions the Government is shortly to make in the 8 July Budget and the autumn Spending Review could have for local services.

The National Audit Office says that government grants to local authorities reduced by 37 per cent during the last parliament and UNISON’s calculations show that this amounts to £12.5bn.
The National Audit Office, the Public Accounts Committee, the Local Government Association and many others have already issued serious warnings about the consequences for local services of further reductions in government support for local councils.

During the course of the election campaign the Prime Minister explained that the ‘long term economic plan’ simply involved saving £1 in every £100 of spending by government departments in each of the first two years.

The 2015 Budget shows spending across government departments falling from £338.6bn in 2015/16 to £323.8bn in 2016/17 and £312bn in 2017/18. The reductions of £14.8bn and £11.8bn respectively are equivalent to reductions (in every £100), not of £1 followed by £1 but of £4.37 and then £3.64. If you then take account of the fact that health is protected and exclude the £111.8bn NHS budget the reductions rise to £6.53 (in every £100) and then another £5.57.

The outcome of the July 8 Budget and the subsequent Spending Review will therefore be critical to the future of many local services that the public rely on.

UNISON recently published an audit of the devastating impact that £12.5bn of cuts for local councils across England and I attach the link so that you can see the report yourself: https://www.unison.org.uk/upload/sharepoint/On%20line%20Catalogue/23139.pdf

In a letter to The Observer on the 17 May the Local Government Association said “Further local government funding reductions over the next five years is not an option.” UNISON agrees and I am writing to ask you to press the Government to protect local services and prevent further damage being done.

Dave Prentis

UNISON General Secretary

Sent by Connect Communications on behalf of UNISON

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