UNISON’s new ‘Council Cuts’ website01/03/2021
At the end of 2020 UNISON carried out an FOI request amongst councils in England and Wales to ascertain the funding gap they were facing for this financial year. The results of that FOI request can be found on our new Council Cuts website and show the very challenging situation that most councils are in as a consequence of the pandemic and a decade of austerity. Top tier councils in England and Wales collectively have a funding gap of over £1bn to try and meet before the end of March.
Unless more funding from government is forthcoming then there is the possibility of more job and service cuts. We hope that the site can be used to show people how perilous their council’s financial position is and encourage them to raise the issue with their MP and/or Senedd member.
Please visit the site so you can see what the situation is in your local area (see below).
The figures displayed on the microsite only capture a particular point in time as all councils are legally bound to close their funding gaps by the end of the financial year. It is worth keeping in mind that this legal requirement to balance their budgets means that many councils will already have taken steps to close their funding gaps by taking money from reserves or by making “efficiencies” – cuts – to services. Furthermore, these figures were produced before the advent of a third national lockdown in late 2020 which will also have enormous effects on councils finances this financial year never mind the future state of council finances. It is extremely likely that councils will face a significantly higher funding gap for the next financial year unless significant amounts of extra government support is forthcoming.
It is also important to note that closing the funding gap for these councils does not address the impact of a decade of central government funding cuts or increased demand for services, it just allows them to address the short-term impact of the pandemic.
If you spot any errors or if you have questions about the microsite then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.