William Eichler 27 November 2018

Over 28,000 council jobs cut in Wales

More than 28,000 local authority jobs have been lost in Wales as a result of Whitehall spending cuts, a union has revealed.

An analysis published today by Unison Wales has revealed that 28,100 council jobs have been cut since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.

This is equivalent to losing the seven largest private sector employers in Wales, the union said.

Audit of Austerity found for every six local authority jobs across Wales in 2010, there are now only five.

More than 500 jobs have gone in 19 of the 22 councils in Wales and more than 1,000 jobs have gone in 15 councils.

Unison also learnt that women were more adversely affected than men; women were employed in 18,400 of the 28,100 jobs that have gone.

‘If 28,000 private sector jobs were threatened, governments would drop everything to ask the business ‘how can we help?’ There would be promises of investment and a special taskforce,’ said Bethan Thomas, Unison’s head of local government.

‘Yet, the Conservative government is completely indifferent to the same number of public service jobs losses it has caused in Wales by starving Welsh government and Welsh councils of money.’

‘Stripping funds available to councils means we have lost an army of librarians; youth workers; school support staff; leisure centre staff; carers; highways maintenance workers; social workers; environmental health inspectors and more,’ she continued.

‘Council services are disappearing before our eyes.’

A Welsh government spokesperson said: ‘We have tried to offer local government the best possible settlement in this ninth year of austerity and in the face of a £850m cut to our budget over the decade by the UK Government.

‘In our draft budget we were able to reduce the level of cuts councils had been expecting and following the Autumn budget we increased the support for local government services.

‘Last week we announced an extra £141.5m for local government, including raising the funding floor so no local authority faces a reduction in its non-ring-fenced funding of more than 0.5%.

‘We are intending to legislate to support councils to find new ways to deliver services and raise funding locally as well as working with them to release existing revenue streams.’

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