Laura Sharman 17 December 2015

‘Catastrophic’ budget will cost 15,000 council jobs

‘Catastrophic’ budget will cost 15,000 council jobs image

Council leaders in Scotland have warned that funding cuts of £350m – announced in yesterday’s budget – will lead to 15,000 job cuts and significant service reductions.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) said the ‘unacceptable’ austerity budget will see local government funding being cut by 3.5% in the next year.

COSLA president, cllr David O’Neill, said: ‘This is a budget that hits the council workforce in terms of job losses, it hits the child in care, it hits the elderly struggling with dementia and the vulnerable adults, all of whom solely rely on the support that only a council can provide.’

Cllr O’Neill added that the funding cut was particularly hard to bear given the Scottish Government was given a cash increase from Westminster.

He added: ‘A cut of 3.5% is catastrophic for jobs and services within Scottish local government – because the harsh reality is that it actually translates to real job cuts that hit real families, in real communities throughout Scotland. Everyone will be hurt by this.’

The budget has unveiled plans to transfer £250m from NHS to local authorities to support integration of health and social care, £70m to fund council tax freezes, and £88m to maintain teacher numbers.

Deputy first minister John Swinney said: 'The old boundary between NHS and Local Government spending – the boundary that has stymied so many attempts to improve care over decades - ceases to exist from April this year.

'So while this budget delivers a strong but challenging financial settlement for local government, we must recognise that the substantial investment in social care will support the delivery of that essential service.'

Trade union GMB Scotland added the Scottish Government had ‘missed’ the opportunity to use revenue-raising powers to increase investment in public services.

Alex Mc Luckie, regional officer at GMB Scotland, explained: ‘One good example of this is the decision to continue with the eight year freeze of the council tax. If council tax had kept pace with inflation Scottish councils would be raising an additional £427m in 2016/17.

‘There would be no need to raid Scottish Government central funds to compensate for these lost taxes thus increasing to amount available for the block grants to councils by £427m.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Fostering Team Leader

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£49827 - £52866 per annum
FOSTERING TEAM LEADERRoyal Greenwich Fostering Service is a vibrant and exciting place to work. We are an innovative Fostering Service that is providi England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Network and Programme Manager – Highways & Drainage

Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
£41,881 - £44,863 per annum (Grade 11)
We are looking for an experienced, motivated and enthusiastic person to manage our Network Management and Streetworks teams. Neath, Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)
Recuriter: Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

National Marine Park Interim Chief Executive

Plymouth Sound National Marine Park
£80,000 to 90,000 dependent on experience
We are now seeking to appoint an inspirational and entrepreneurial interim Chief Executive, on an initial 2 year fixed term appointment, to... Plymouth, Devon
Recuriter: Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

Senior Accountant x2

Islington London Borough Council
£39,462 - £45,594 per annum
There are two roles currently being advertised, one working with our Resources finance team, and one with our Housing and Public Health finance team. Islington, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Islington London Borough Council

Team Leader Building Works

Bedford Borough Council
£38,890 - £43,857 per annum
Building Services are seeking an enthusiastic Team Leader to oversee the Building Works team direct labour unit. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue