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Council Cuts Hit Most Vulnerable

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rowntree Foundation Find That Draconian Cuts In Council Budgets Are Affecting The Poorest And Most Vulnerable Sections Of Society

Housing standards, care for the elderly, children’s social work, local infrastructure, education standards are being severely undermined - the JRF report is therefore a welcome wake-up call says GMB.

GMB, the union for public sector workers, commented on the report published by Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) on 28 November on how local authorities are coping with cuts to spending and budgets, and what the impact is on deprived communities. See notes to editors for copy of JRF press release.

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said "The JRF report confirms what GMB has said for some time - that draconian cuts in council budgets imposed by the government are affecting the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society.

It also shows that councils are only halfway through the cuts programme and to find further savings will now have to stop providing some services altogether and will target other services only on those in greatest need.

Unfortunately there is no evidence of a 'big society' culture that can step in and provide do-it-yourself community services to fill the vacuum left by these withdrawals. As a consequence the less affluent parts of the country and everyone bar the very rich will find the community fabric around them beginning to crumble and the services they rely on when most in need will simply not be there for them.

Housing standards, care for the elderly, children’s social work, local infrastructure, education standards, all these basic council functions have been or are being severely undermined and the public needs to realise this before it is too late - the JRF report is therefore a welcome wake up call."

Ends

Contact Brian Strutton 07860 606 137 or Wales 029 2049 1260 or GMB press office 07974 252 823 or 07921 289880

Notes to editors

Copy of press release by Joseph Rowntree Foundation by 28 November 2013

Coping with the cuts? Local government and poorer communities

Annette Hastings, Nick Bailey, Kirsten Besemer, Glen Bramley, Maria Gannon and David Watkins.

How are local authorities coping with cuts to spending and budgets, and what is the impact on deprived communities?

Local government is one of the foremost casualties of austerity in the UK. This study looks at the scale and pattern of cuts in spending on local government in England and Scotland since 2010, and explains how councils can analyse their savings plans and assess their potential impact on disadvantaged groups.

The study finds that:

local government spending in England is set to fall by nearly 30 per cent between 2008 and 2015; an equivalent figure for Scotland would be 24 per cent. The underlying cut in funding for existing services is even higher;

cuts in spending power and budgeted spend are systematically greater in more deprived local authorities than in more affluent ones – a difference of around £100 per head in both England and Scotland;

reductions in spending tell only part of the story as authorities also have to cope with rising costs and demands.

 

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