Unions plan protests over council cuts

COUNCIL employees are planning a series of protests over devastating cuts to services due to budget plans.

COUNCIL employees are planning a series of protests over 'devastating' cuts to services due to budget plans.

Unison and joint trade unions will stage the protests at all North Somerset Council meetings starting on Tuesday at 2pm.

They are urging anyone who is concerned about the budget proposals to come along and make themselves heard.

The Tory leadership at North Somerset Council says there is a £17million shortfall over the next two years but wants to maintain its election pledge to keep council tax rises to a minimum.

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The budget, which is currently being consulted on, has cuts to education welfare, education psychology, special education needs, sports and arts development, children's social care and tourism.

Unison branch secretary Judith Porter said: "The figures for some services are devastating. The youth service is looking at a 25 per cent cut in its current budget over the next two years.

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"Our members in the youth service are providing crucial frontline services undertaking preventative work with children that in the long run could save the tax payers money. If these services are cut children will be left vulnerable without guidance or activities."

Trade unions believe the current period of consultation is seriously lacking in both detail and exact figures.

They say they are concerned the true extent of the devastation of public services through the loss of jobs has yet to be fully known.

Ann Lemon from the National Union of Teachers said: "The cuts to services in personalised learning will have a grave impact on schools' abilities to offer and maintain support to some of our most vulnerable children."

Unions are continuing to meet with the authority leaders to urge them to think again about their overall budget strategy.

* Page 2Council Budget Cuts

05 December 2007

06 December 2007

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