Unison calls for more than £3 billion in extra council funding to avoid cuts to vital services

A leading trade union is calling for councils in England, Wales and Scotland to be properly funded after claiming they are grappling with huge budget deficits totalling more than £3 billion for the next financial year.

Unison said a record shortfall in 2022/23 will lead to cuts to services and jobs.

Many councils have already suffered cuts to services in recent years, including bin collections, teaching assistant numbers, social care, library hours and community spaces such as parks, said the union.

Unison said it is essential councils receive enough funding to provide for communities as life returns to normal after the pandemic.

General secretary Christina McAnea (pictured) said: “These council funding shortfalls will result in cuts that are likely to hit the poorest in society hardest.

“Children struggling in class won’t be able to get the extra help they need to succeed.

“Families of the elderly and people needing support will be denied the services on which so many of them rely. Access to much-loved parks, libraries and community facilities are at risk of being taken away.

“The Government must step up and help local councils desperately trying to keep afloat. If Boris Johnson is serious about levelling-up, this money must be found.

“Ministers cannot allow a two-tier society to develop where some of the most in need are left behind.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2021, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Unison.