County Councillors gathering to vote on proposed budget reductions will be met with a noisy protest from demonstrators who want to stop damaging cuts to services and jobs.
The full council will meet in Kendal on Thursday to set the budget. Central government funding for Cumbria is being cut by £83m between now and 2018 and the Council are to vote on proposals that will involve 1800 redundancies and cuts to key services.
UNISON Cumbria Branch is organising the lobby of councillors to highlight staff and public concerns about the impact of the cuts.
Anita Timperon, UNISON Cumbria Branch Secretary said:
“Cumbria is a large and diverse county and services will be hit hard by these cuts.
“Many Council employees are women in low paid jobs, working on a part-time basis. Some will be forced into the benefits system if they lose their job. There will be repercussions throughout the Cumbrian economy as employees and their families have their livelihood taken away from them.
“We fear that with job losses of this scale it is highly likely that some of the redundancies will be made on a compulsory basis. This will be a great worry to Council staff and UNISON will be working to support and protect our members through this difficult time.”
UNISON North West Regional Organiser Dave Armstrong said:
“This latest announcement means that the County Council workforce will have halved in size since 2010 from 10,000 to 5,000. This level of cut cannot be made without seriously damaging our local economy and social fabric. The Government is starving local authorities of adequate resources and jeopardising the future of our communities.”
You can join the protest outside Kendal County Hall from 9am on Thursday 19 February. The Council meeting begins at 10am.