UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

LGA to Con Dems – stop killing local government

The Local Government Association (LGA) has responded to Chancellor Osborne's 2015/16 budget announcement yesterday, in which he claimed that local government was one of “seven Government departments have agreed provisionally to cuts of up to 10 per cent,” Sir Merrick Cockell, LGA Chairman, said that "local government bore the brunt of cuts in the last Spending Review. For the sake of the public it cannot afford to do so again."

The LGA statement also casts doubt on the veracity of Osborne’s statement: "DCLG has confirmed that today's announcement does not relate to local government funding, which is still being negotiated between departments. The ambiguity around today's announcement highlights why in future local government should be much more directly involved in negotiating the settlement.”

“We are urging the Chancellor to ensure local services are adequately funded in 2015/16 and beyond. Local government's financial sustainability is on a knife edge in many areas and significant new cuts would pose a real threat to valued local services. The end result would be the further tightening of eligibility criteria for care and support and cuts to services such as road maintenance, leisure facilities and economic regeneration projects. It is inevitable that it would lead to a significant reduction in, and in some cases even loss of, important local services. Councils have already taken one of the biggest cuts in the public sector with a 33 per cent reduction to their Government grant. Whitehall budgets have been cut by on average 7 per cent.”