This Bristol Branch website covers members in local government, voluntary and community sectors.
Unison response to the Supporting People Consultation document
It is our duty to first and foremost represent the interests of our members, but our members are also citizens, residents and service users in the community served by
Bristol City Council so comments reflect that perspective as well as the views of members as employees.
Unison opposes the Austerity Agenda and believes that cutting local services is a false economy. The cuts proposed in all options of the consultation document are targeting some of the most vulnerable citizens of Bristol, this is made clear in the equalities impact assessments. Cuts that come from central government include welfare reform, the benefit cap and the NHS cuts and then local government cuts on top of that mean that the more disadvantaged citizens are targeted again and again.
Unison remains opposed to privatisation and outsourcing. We would want all services to remain in house so that the council retain full democratic control and oversight. This would also nurture a mixed marketplace instead of a wholly private one, whereby we can compare the experience of outside providers with our own experience, and ensure the authority is receiving value for money.
These services that are proposed to be cut are all front line, all people who go out and talk to our citizens, establish good working relationships with our citizens, help, resolve issues, share their time and conversation, make things slightly better for people.
Many of our members would like decision makers to really understand the powerful feeling that they won’t be there to continue to provide that service and all the intangible extras. It is emotional and you worry about what will happen to people. We fear that a council that loses sight of this amongst the requirements to save will only be making worse problems which take longer to heal when finally everyone realises that austerity doesn’t work.
Finally, our members need reassurance. They need to know that proper and full consultation will occur once decisions are made and they want to know that the council will do everything it can to retain jobs and services