Monthly Archives: December 2014

Fuel Bill Help from UNISON

Are you worried about paying your winter fuel bill?

With rising fuel costs and another cold winter many members are worried about how they are going to pay this year’s winter fuel bill.

Help is on Hand

“There for You” has set up a limited fund to help UNISON members on low income by way of a one-off payment of up to £40.

To apply simply download the application from here (or contact our office and we will send you a copy). Everyone that applies will receive a booklet giving information about other help that may be available and how to reduce fuel costs in the future.

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Barnet and Cuts

Tonight 63 Barnet Councillors are going to vote on the proposal to outsource 81% of the existing Council workforce.

The story has been covered in the Guardian by Aditya Chakrabortty “Outsourced and unaccountable: this is the future of local government”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/15/local-services-barnet-council-town-hall

Severe cuts are taking place across all of public service and there are more and more shocking headlines emerging a fewCuts of which are listed below.

“Northamptonshire County Council reduce its workforce from 4,000 to 150 people in a bid to carve £148 million out of its budget within the next five years.”

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/budget-cuts-of-148-million-will-result-in-northamptonshire-county-council-outsourcing-95-per-cent-of-staff-1-6463894

Camden £73 million cuts http://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/news/2014/december-2014/camden-sets-out-73m-savings-plan-to-balance-budget.en

Cardiff council planning £32m cuts in 2015/16  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-30058107

Birmingham city council to axe thousands of jobs as part of ‘dire cuts’

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/dec/10/birmingham-city-council-axe-thousands-jobs-cuts

Manchester facing £60m council cuts – while 20 areas in the south GAIN spending power

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-facing-60m-council-cuts-8071156

Funding crisis leaves Newcastle facing ‘impossible cuts’ and social unrest

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/24/funding-crisis-newcastle-impossible-cuts-social-unrest

Coventry City Council’s service cut plans ‘horrify’ residents

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-30173689

Leeds faces up to ‘brutal’ council cuts

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/leeds-faces-up-to-brutal-council-cuts-1-6994471

Business leaders hear impact of £102 million council cuts

http://www.theargus.co.uk/business/11654697.Business_leaders_hear_impact_of___102_million_council_cuts/

The Autumn Statement makes it very clear that public services funding will be reduced to 1930’s levels. There were not many public services in 1930’s, which could mean the end of local government as we currently know it. But it isn’t stopping a local government with 70% of NHS contracts already handed to the private sector.

http://www.publicsectorexecutive.com/Public-Sector-News/obr-warns-a-million-public-sector-jobs-will-be-lost-by-2019

 

 

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Ask Pickles

On 16 December, the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee will put questions to Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The Committee is inviting suggestions for questions on any of the areas within the responsibility of the Department for Communities and Local Government. This includes questions on councils, localism, housing, local government finance, town centres, local services, planning and the devolution of powers from central to local government.Pickles

Members are asked to submit questions to the Committee via Twitter, by adding the hashtag #AskPickles to their tweet, before 11pm on Monday 8 December (the deadline set by the Select Committee).

The last time an Ask Pickles session was held, it attracted widespread notice on social media, and so this is an excellent opportunity to ask questions of importance to UNISON members in Local Government. You may want to consider asking about:

  • Local government pay. Why is local government pay the poor relation of the public sector? How can Eric Pickles justify hundreds of thousands of council workers, mostly women, being paid below the living wage?

 

  • The cuts. How can Eric Pickles expect councils to provide decent services when he has cut more than £11bn from their funding? How can he justify his support for turning off street lights when our streets are now less safe? What are young people supposed to do when 250 youth centres have closed?

 

  • Jobs. How can the government claim we’re all in it together, when so many low paid workers have lost their jobs?

Remember to keep your tweets to 140 characters, and include the #AskPickles hashtag.

 

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