GMB says Coalition cuts to local authority budgets have taken a ‘terrible’ toll on employment

Tim Lezard

N30-recumbent-GMBThe GMB says Coalition cuts to local authority budgets have taken a “terrible” toll on employment.

(Pictured: GMB members during #N30 pensions strike, Sheffield)

It says official figures show the number of workers in almost 400 councils across the UK fell by more than 380,000 between 2010 and the middle of 2012.

This accounts for a drop of 14.7% in the local authority workforce since the 2010 general election.

Officials say most of the job losses are a result of freezing vacancies, redundancies and ‘natural wastage’, but some are also a result of transferring public sector jobs to the private sector, such as when local authority schools are converted into privately-operated academies.

Hardest hit is the South West region: where 52,400 council workers have lost their jobs, the equivalent of 24.6% of the workforce.

The GMB says job cuts on this scale are a “disaster” for local communities.

Its national secretary for public services, Brian Strutton, said: “The terrible extent of the cuts that the Tory/Liberal government has imposed on local authorities is plain to see in these new statistics.

“Council budgets are still being cut this trend in falling employment numbers is likely to continue into 2014.

“Not a single council worker ever contributed anything to the financial crisis that they are being made to pay the price for.

“Neither did any of the elderly, needy or vulnerable local citizens that rely on ever-diminishing council services.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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