The Coventry City UNISON response to the Coventry City Council Connecting Communities is available here – connecting-communities-unison-response
· 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