STATEMENT – UNISON Coventry City Branch response to the Coventry City Council Budgetary Council proposals for 2015/16

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·              UNISON is fundamentally opposed to the budget cuts proposed in the pre-budget report 2015/16 (02.12.15)

·              “Windfalls” or one off income provides opportunity to preserve services in the short term pending lobbying for a fair settlement for the City.

·             We are concerned that budget medium term forecasts are not subject to public consultation.

·              An inevitability scenario is being created of the need for cuts when the Councils reserves have risen dramatically to more than £81million and there are assets of nearly a billion pounds.

·              UNISON wants to see the use of assets and reserves to offset the deficit and protect fundamental services for the benefit of all our citizens and protects jobs

·               Equality Impact assessments would show disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable, young and old.

·              Clarity is needed about the sale of assets to Coventry University in the city centre – prime land.

·              The council should be seeking to maximise grants to stop services from collapsing.

·              How can you grow Business rates and what contingency is there for over spend on the Friargate development?

·              It is unacceptable to say that service cuts so far have had little adverse effect – There is no longer a universal offer from Children’s Centres to families for example.

·              Who will be undertaking services identified in 6.6 of the Budget report? We all have a right to know and how will that save money?

·              When will the Council start talking to Coventry people about what services they want rather than making assumptions?

·              Why are the Council paying down a £4million debt when there was no need, given the level of borrowing rates being so low and when there are fundamental cuts proposed?

·              Why are we cutting Public health when we are a Marmot city?

·              Why cut Adult Education when it is doing so well?

·              How can the Council close Children’s centres without it having a serious impact on safeguarding?

·              Fuel and Energy prices have dropped – has this been factored in to the Budgetary position?

·              Why hasn’t the Council considered an increase in Council Tax beyond 1%?

 Ends – Click Here for the full response to the budget proposals from Coventry City Unison UNISON Coventry City Local Government Branch response to the Coventry City Council Budgetary Council proposals for 2015

PRESS RELEASE – Budget proposals likely to increase inequality

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Councils largest trade union UNISON oppose the city centre first strategy  that would see Council run Services reduced in neighbourhoods with key services (Libraries, Children’s Centres, Community Centres, Adult Education Settings) facing closure.

The proposition, outlined in briefest terms in the budget would see Council run Library Service points reduced from 17 to just 5, with 4 hubs operating a service in areas deemed to be of greatest deprivation with the hope that communities will take up the running of others  (with no cost to the council).

UNISON has launched a campaign and petition to challenge the budget proposal in order to preserve a high quality fully accountable Public Library Service employing professional, well trained staff.

Dawn Palmer-Ward corporate rep from UNISON said

“Whilst we agree with Cllr Kershaw’s definition of our Library Service as a golden thread running through our communities, it is a thread he and others are willing to unpick, endangering access to books, information, ideas, education and technology. The value of libraries, as centres of the local community, essential for the well-being of young and old is being ignored in the pursuit of the balanced budget. UNISON cannot stand by and allow a lifeline to the community to be decimated”.

ENDS

Coventry Against The Cuts – Save Our Services – Your Services Under Threat

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Millions of pounds have been cut from local authority budgets, resulting in severe cuts to local services. And now Coventry City Council has announced yet more. Important services will go – services that will affect all children, young people, the elderly and any of us who need support at different times in our lifetime.   None of us can afford to let this happen.

What does this mean to you?

  • Elderly care – slashed!
  • Children’s Centres – shut!
  • Libraries – closed!
  • School Crossing Patrols – sacked!
  • Youth Services and Community Centres – closed!
  • Public Toilets – boarded up!

1000 local people who deliver these services sacked!………. AND MUCH MORE!

We cannot afford to let this happen. Ordinary people of Coventry did not create this crisis – we must join together and refuse to accept these cuts. There is enough wealth in our society to provide housing, education, employment and care for all – it’s just in the wrong hands!

What can YOU do about it?

Join with us in a campaign to STOP these cuts in our City.

  • GET INVOLVED

LOBBY your local Councillor

NO CUTS

CITY WIDE DEMONSTRATION

Saturday 21st February

Assemble at 12 noon

Millennium Square (Coventry Transport Museum)

For more info and to keep in touch:

coventryagainstthecuts@gmail.com

Facebook: Coventry Against the Cuts

Twitter Hashtag #covagainstcuts

Urgent- protest in Coventry on Saturday 17th January 1.45pm Broadgate

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We understand that Fascist groups are gathering in Coventry for a so-called ‘Unstoppable Hate music festival’ in Coventry this Saturday. A number of bands are playing who have a clear link to fascist groups. . Councillors have been made aware of this as well.

Meet up at the Godiva statue in Broadgate at 1.45pm on Saturday in order to show our disgust at the presence of these hatemongers and racists in the city. Please come along and also spread this message widely.

In unity

George Sands

Unison Coventry City Branch Chair