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Otley Resident Lobbies MP on Council Cuts

Alex Sobel had a visit from an Otley resident in Parliament this week to discuss the lack of funding for city councils.

Karen Weir lives in the Prince Henry Ward and was there in her capacity as a representative from Unison, a trade union that represents over 10,000 council workers in Leeds.

Leeds City Council has lost 47% of its core funding since 2010 which has meant a serious strain on public services.

Ms Weir was attending Westminster as part of Unison’s Save Our Services (SOS) campaign, which is fighting for proper investment in local authorities.

In a survey commissioned by unison, they found that Leeds Unison members were particularly worried about Adult Social Care, lack of front-line staff, safeguarding children and young people, cuts to youth services and the lack of housing options.

68% of those surveyed said that jobs had been lost in their department.

Karen Weir spoke about people being increasingly dissatisfied with council services up and down the country. That Unison members, many of whom are employed by councils work very hard and do the best that they can with the resources they have. That you cannot expect to cut councils to the bone and still expect the same quality of public services.

In the Constituency that Alex represents, which is her home area, 88% of council workers say that budget cuts, in the past two years, have had an impact on their ability to do their job the best that they can.

Mr Sobel agreed, he said.

“ It was a pleasure to meet Karen and to read the findings of Unison’s survey. It does not make for pleasant reading and the results are unsurprising. The deep cuts that have been inflicted on local councils in the last eight years are biting and it is causing real challenges for those council workers who are tasked with providing the services in which we all depend. The Government simply must hear their calls and provide council workers with the resources they need to do their jobs.”


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