Latest Public Sector News

18.06.18

Shocking eight out of 10 workers have lost confidence in the future of council services, survey finds

Council services are failing residents with over two thirds believing they don’t receive help and support when they need it, a new survey has found.

Severe spending cuts to budgets of local authorities around the UK means that many councils aren’t receiving the funding to effectively manage the demand for services in their area.

Overcrowded properties, fly-tipping being left for weeks, potholes damaging cars, and vulnerable young people not receiving the support they need are amongst the symptoms of stretched council departments, according to a new survey by Unison.

A massive half of the 21,000 local government employees surveyed said they were thinking of leaving their council jobs for a “less stressful” job elsewhere, with eight in 10 employees losing confidence in the future of local services.

In December last year, the LGA voiced fears that councils could be headed towards a funding “cliff-edge,” as cash budgets could be halved by 2020.

This claim has been supported by a recent National Audit Office survey that found funding for local authorities in England has fallen by around half from 2010-11 to 2017-18. A whopping 83% of survey respondents admitted these cuts are having a negative impact on their ability to do perform in their job to the highest of their abilities.

Insufficient funding has led almost two-thirds (63%) of councilors to be concerned about the financial situation of their council, with 73% of those interviewed having had redundancies in their department and a startling 60% of employees no longer feeling secure in their jobs.

Financial constraints of local government have had a knock-on effect for vital services in local areas: 64% of council workers identified a lack of front line staff as a major challenge facing their authority. Adult social care, safeguarding for children and young people, and housing options were some of the biggest challenges also highlighted by those surveyed.

According to final results, over half of council employees believe their authority delivers quality services, with just under half saying their employer doesn’t make the right decisions for the public.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Local services are collapsing and council workers are being left to pick up the pieces and do the best they can amid the chaos. This disturbing survey should ring alarm bells in Whitehall and also alert ministers to the crisis happening in councils up and down the country.

“Local authorities have had to cut so many vital services that they have now reached a point where vulnerable children and the elderly struggle to get the help that they need, entire communities are suffering, and the public are being put at risk.”

 

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