New cuts to Bristol council services

SWINGEING government cuts will devastate council services in Bristol, local government unions warned last Monday.

Care for older and vulnerable adults, and support for children and families are amongst the services under threat as the city council wrestles with an imposed funding cut of £60 million by 2020, starting in April 2017.

In addition to these pending cuts, the council has revealed a shortfall in the savings that should have been achieved between 2014 and 2017 of £43 million.

To balance the books, the council will make around 1,000 employees redundant. The council’s total workforce is 6,500.

This will save only £29 million from the shortfall of £43 million. The unions are pressing for voluntary severance as the preferred option.

Responding to the announcement by the council, the unions have come up with a four-point plan to stave off the worst effects of the planned cuts:

Slashing 15 per cent of the workforce will place unsustainable pressure on services for caring for older and vulnerable adults, and support for children and families.

It will also mean cuts to sports and leisure facilities, libraries, waste services, street cleaning, highways and parks, with further cuts to come in the next three years.

The council needs to be up front with residents about what the cuts will mean for local services.