Call for end of austerity

Friday 29 September 2017

Inverclyde Council has joined a trades union call for an end to austerity and a fair local government budget settlement.

The move comes as a motion was agreed at the latest council meeting.

Inverclyde Council Leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, said; “The motion, written by Inverclyde Joint Trade Unions, highlights a decade of significant budget pressures and the reduction in council budgets over that time.  The council agreed the motion, which calls on the council and trades unions to persuade Governments at both UK and Scottish level for a fair settlement for local government.

“Local government provides essential services to people across Scotland. In Inverclyde, the council has been successful in managing funding reductions and minimising the impact on front line services. The motion from the joint trades unions makes clear that it is getting more difficult to do that and withdrawal of services may be inevitable without joint working to campaign against austerity.”

The full text of the motion agreed by councillors read:

Inverclyde Joint Trade Unions Motion to Inverclyde Council

Inverclyde Council has had to manage significant budget pressures for over a decade. Each year over that period the budget settlement for Inverclyde Council has reduced in real terms. Successive Governments at both a UK and Scottish level have presided over the funding regime during this period.

The Council have adopted different approaches to deal with this problem. On the one hand they have made efficiency savings which has eased budget gaps by increasing income or reducing spending but without any impact in services.

On the other hand, and to a lesser extent, they have reduced or withdrawn services. Moving forward both the Council and the Trade Unions recognise that there is less and less scope for further efficiency savings.

Further reductions in the settlement grant will inevitably lead to services being reduced or withdrawn. This will in turn impact on the most vulnerable people in our communities.

This Council and Trade Unions believe that austerity as a political and economic strategy is completely discredited and has inflicted untold damage on our workforce, public services and our communities.

This Council and Trade Unions resolve to:

  • Publicly and consistently advocate for a fair Local Government settlement.
  • Persuade Governments to make money available to ensure that vital services for Inverclyde residents are maintained at the level required for communities that are amongst the poorest in Scotland.
  • To work jointly in campaigns at all levels of Government against austerity and the impact of austerity on Local Government services.
  • To invite the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Scotland to Inverclyde to visit the vital Council services that are under threat due to continued UK Government austerity.

The motion was proposed by Inverclyde Council Leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, seconded by Councillor Colin Jackson with an amendment put forward by Councillor Christopher McEleny and seconded by Councillor Ines Nelson which included the phrase: “To invite the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Scotland to Inverclyde to visit the vital Council services that are under threat dut to continued UK Government austerity.”

Inverclyde Council will now write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Scotland to invite them to Inverclyde.

Page last updated: 29 September 2017