Union protest over Government cuts

UNISON members demonstrate against government cuts in Burnley town Centre. Photo: David Hurst
UNISON members demonstrate against government cuts in Burnley town Centre. Photo: David Hurst

Workers from Lancashire UNISON union gathered in Burnley to protest at Government cuts to local authorities.

Around 15 branch members handed out leaflets in Burnley town centre at the weekend, and displayed banners at the bandstand and outside the town hall.

There is no doubt these cuts are driven by Tory ideology as they want to see the end of local government as we know it

Peter Thorne

UNISON Burnley branch secretary Peter Thorne said: “There is huge concern among local authority workers and the general public at the level of cuts we are seeing from central government.

“As a result, Lancashire County Council and Burnley Borough Council have been forced into a terrible position with some difficult choices to make.

“In the near future we will see the closure of libraries, museums and community centres, as well as cuts to bus services.

“It is tragic to see fantastic local assets like Queen Street Mill coming under threat.

“There is no doubt these cuts are driven by Tory ideology as they want to see the end of local government as we know it.

“Most people out on the streets of Burnley agree that the cuts have gone too far.”

Mr Thorne said the UNISON members were also joined by their branch colleagues from the police.

Police forces around the country have suffered funding cuts in recent years, but were spared further cutbacks in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Lancashire County Council has said up to 370 full-time jobs could be lost in the next two years. The job losses would be in addition to the 1,100 staff who have already left the authority, having taken voluntary redundancy since January 2014.

The proposals follow the announcement in August that the council will need to save an additional £262m. by April 2020, to tackle a funding gap caused by reduced government funding and rising demand for services.

This comes on top of £152m. savings already made.