Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Normal Service has Resumed

Now the Christmas break is over, UNISON members in local government are hard at work, delivering vital public services. And sadly UNISON activists are having to spend their time defending these vital services from savage cuts in many councils.

Since we last posted here are some of the issues that have affected council staff in the East Midlands - and beyond.

Essex County Council have announced a £5bn deal with IBM to outsource services. This could spell the beginning of the end of good quality and equitable public services with the introduction of the private sectrr whose only desire is to make a quick buck.

Tory controlled Leicestershire County Council have announced 600 jobs will be cuts as they slash at services. Like Notts County Council they have take the irresponsible decision to freeze council tax. This is a decsion that means the burden of the cuts will fall on the most vulnerable as home care charges rise by 50% and some people who currently get care may be assessed as not being needy enough for care. Leader of the Council, Coun David Parsons said, "if you're not terribly vulnerable, we can't afford it."

So now only those people in Leicestershire who are very vulnerable have got any chance of getting any care. Well, Coun Parsons, you could afford it if you put up council tax by a modest 3% - it would cost just £1.24 a week extra for a Band H house or 41p a week for a Band A house and it would raise about £7.5m.

Less than the price of a cup of coffee a week is not a lot to ask to protect the most vulnerable in our society, is it?

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