Council plan big cuts

Published on Wednesday, 23 February 2011 14:48
Posted by Scott Buckler

As more than 3000 local government workers in Nottinghamshire County Council prepare to take strike action tomorrow (24 Feb), UNISON is calling on the council to think again about the their savage cuts agendaThe union is warning that the cuts will decimate local services and hit the most vulnerable people.


Council Leader Kay Cutts is driving through a £150 million package of cuts, due to be rubber stamped on the day of the strike. The cuts include the closure of 35 specialist day centres, a massive hike in charges for social care, huge cuts from the youth offending service, and from services to children and young people – including from services that support children with special needs. The cuts will also lead to 1,000 job losses – spelling danger for local economic recovery.

Heather Wakefield, UNISON Head of Local Government, who will speak at a Rally in Nottinghamshire tomorrow, said:

Kay Cutt’s should think again about these cuts. They hit the elderly, the disabled, people with learning disabilities, children with special needs, and people with mental health problems. These cuts are not inevitable – the council has £159 million in cash reserves. Instead of inflicting misery on local people why not use this money to help some of Nottinghamshire’s most vulnerable residents?

“This budget will wreak total devastation on local services – from the cradle to the grave. Millions cut from Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare. Children with special needs missing out on support, and youth offending projects cut.

“Day centres - a lifeline for elderly people, and for those with mental health problems or learning disabilities - are massively singled out. The council is pricing people out of the remaining day centres by hiking day charges, and fees for transport from zero up to £5 a day. Meal costs will skyrocket. Centres will stop providing meals altogether unless they can make a profit.

“UNISON council workers in Nottinghamshire are going on strike to protect their jobs, but also to protect the local services they know are at the heart of this community. We want local people to join us in pressing for an alternative, fairer budget that will promote economic growth and protect vital local services.”

Children’s services cuts

· 56.6 fewer staff supporting children with Special Educational needs and disabilities, thanks to a budget cut of £1.55m in 2011/12 (£3.512m by 2014/15) – 21% cut in funding · 76.8% (£453,000) cut from Youth Offending Service · 100% staffing cut in Children and Young People’s Health · £1.25m cut from Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare (£4m by 2014/15) · 43% (£705,000) cut in Connexions Budget · 63% (£468,000) cut in the play service budget · 59% (£497,000) cut in the budget for development work with 14 – 19s · £1,792m cut (£2.240m by 2014/15) from the school improvement service · 82% (£742,000) cut in budget for summer schools and extended activities

Adults service cuts

· £4m cut in Supporting People (£12.5m by 2014/15) – this grant funds women’s refuges, helps rough sleepers, and people with mental health problems. It also funds sheltered wardens and community alarms. · £600,000 (£6.069m by 2014/15) cut from budget for day services for people needing care, 162 staff cut, from 377 to just 192. Plans include closing existing 35 day care centres that provide specific care support, and replacing with just 10 ‘generic’ centres providing ‘one service for all’. The centers will open for just 46 weeks per year, not 52. Meals and drinks provision will stop unless the centres can make a profit. Access will also be cut for elderly care home residents to just 2 days per week – from five days a week. ·100% cut in transport subsidy for lunch clubs – elderly residents used to get free travel to day centres, this was put up to £4 a day earlier this year, and will go up to £5 a day in April. · £243,000 cut from occupational therapy · £70,000 cut in the Carers Unit and removing 71.4% of the staffing · £1.37m (66%) cut in voluntary sector grants – this includes closing the Welfare rights service completely making 28 staff redundant. People wanting this service will now be directed towards the Citizens Advice Bureau, but this will also be hit by a 66% cut. · £1m (£2m by 2014/15) cut in community care budget · £1.281m (£5.214m by 2014/15) cut to budgets for people with Learning Disabilities and Mental Ill Health

Source: ©UNISON

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