Unions call on council to fight Government cuts
TRADE unions have urged councillors in Darlington to fight the Government over the level of proposed cuts in a bid to protect services.
Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet members last week gave approval to trim £1.2m from council services this year.
The first round of cuts in Darlington will see 33 posts lost, and a reduction in funding for several services including school, disabled and elderly transport schemes, CCTV management and traffic projects.
It will be followed by more reductions over four years to save £22m.
Dawn Taylor, assistant branch secretary for Unison, said morale among the authority’s workforce was at an all-time low because of the proposals.
She added: “It is total nonsense for the Government to claim that budgets can be cut and that frontline services will be protected.”
Unison publicity officer Bob Wood and GMB representative Alan Docherty urged the council to challenge the Governmentimposed cuts rather than simply pass on the savings.
Councillor Chris McEwan, portfolio holder for resources, said in response: “We are fighting these cuts where we can.
Our MP is trying to fight these cuts. It is important as a community we fight these cuts.”
Heather Scott, leader of the Conservative group, said: “We would hope that we can protect frontline services as much as possible.
“This is very early days in the budget cuts. There has to be a realisation that we are where we are and we cannot going on spending money which is not there.”