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Monday, 18 June 2018

Unison finds most council workers 'have no confidence' in services they deliver

Written by Alan Jones

Four out of five council workers have no confidence in the future of local services because of spending cuts, new research reveals.

A study by Unison found that most local authority employees believe residents do not receive the help and support when they need it.

A survey of 21,000 workers by the union showed that half do not believe their council delivers quality services.

Council staff who took part told of families living in mouldy, overcrowded properties, fly-tipping being left for weeks, increasing rodent populations, residents' cars damaged by huge potholes and vulnerable children, young people and adults not getting the help and support they need.

Almost three-quarters of those surveyed said there had been redundancies in their departments, with many speaking of colleagues leaving and not being replaced.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis (pictured) said: "Local services are collapsing and council workers are being left to pick up the pieces and do the best they can amid the chaos. This disturbing survey should ring alarm bells in Whitehall and also alert ministers to the crisis happening in councils up and down the country.

"Local authorities have had to cut so many vital services that they have now reached a point where vulnerable children and the elderly struggle to get the help that they need, entire communities are suffering, and the public are being put at risk.

"With cuts to road and bridge maintenance, potholes in roads are left unfilled, and bridges are at risk of crumbling. Crematoriums are not maintained, streetlights stay broken, and parks are in disrepair as councils don't have the equipment or the staff to adequately maintain them.

"There are now over one million people with an unmet need for social care because councils don't have the resources to support them. Now is the time to reverse these cuts and invest in local government once more or the very fabric of our society will come unstuck."

A spokesman for the Housing, Communities and Local Government Department said: "Councils will have £90.7 billion to spend on local services over the next two years.

"We are working with local government to develop a funding system for the future based on the needs of different areas."

Around 21,000 workers took part in the survey, held in the last few weeks.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Anthony Devlin / PA Wire.