Wirral's Labour-led council on collision course with union over £100m spending cuts (From Wirral Globe)
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Wirral's Labour-led council on collision course with union over £100m spending cuts
Wirral’s ruling Labour group and trade unionists are locked on collision course over proposed massive cuts in spending.
Unite community branch says it is deeply concerned both by the scale of proposed budget reductions and a public consultation exercise launched this week by the council.
The cabinet was told on Thursday the Government’s austerity drive means plans must be made to cut £100m from Wirral’s £300m budget over the next three years.
Leader Phil Davies acknowledged the cuts would be unpopular but stressed they needed to implemented.
Wirral Unite community group branch secretary Morag Reid said: “We firmly believe these cuts must be opposed, and we are disgusted that a Labour council is not even prepared to ask if people support these cuts.
“Savings on this scale cannot be made by ‘trimming fat’ or ‘smarter working’. Instead it will mean the closure, reduction and privatisation of services that people rely upon.
“From day centres to libraries, youth services to parks, our services will be decimated. It will also mean large-scale job losses at a time of high unemployment.”
The authority on Monday embarked on a major consultation exercise asking Wirral people where they think the cuts should fall.
Unite branded this consultation as a “sham” and will be carrying out its own alternative asking one question: “Do you think the council should implement £100 million cuts in services?”
An “anti-cuts movement” to oppose spending reductions in Wirral will also be mobilised.
Ms Reid continued: "The consultation gives the illusion people will get a say on the future of their local services, but it won't ask the real question - should our councillors be imposing cuts at all?
“Wirral voters elected a Labour council, hoping for an alternative to Tory cuts.
"Labour is letting them down.
"That's why we'll be asking as many Wirral people as possible to vote in our alternative ballot and find out whether the community really supports cuts, and we'll back that with a mass campaign to defend every job and service under threat."