Our assessment of the cuts locally in York, based on York City Council’s 2012-2014 two year budget.
The Cuts are Unfair
The deficit is the bankers fault – why should York pay?
The cuts made by the Con-Dem coalition are destroying the existing, already weak, support systems for the poorest and most vulnerable. We have already seen cuts to health and care services, disability allowances, legal aid, children’s services, education, funding for charities and more. The 2011-2012 council budget implemented the central government’s austerity measures with cuts of £20 million. The new budget released on the 3rd of February is similar, this time with £19.7 million of ‘savings’ spread over 2 years.
These cuts are not necessary. The banks owe us billions from the bailout, but the Government is choosing to pass the cost on to us.
says Nick Smith, a member of York Stop the Cuts
What do the cuts mean for York?
… for older people
- A greater reliance on ‘Telecare’ service, rather than in having a real person coming in to give you support.
- The privatisation of home care support, which will lead to a drop in the quality of this service, as private companies cut corners in order to save costs.
… for people looking for housing
- Homelessness in York has risen by 40%, yet the council is reducing the Salvation Army’s resettlement contract by £28,000.
Furthermore, though unrelated to the council’s budget, York has been hit badly by changes to housing benefit nationally. See these two York Press articles: Hundreds to lose housing benefit payments and Big variation in way benefit cuts will hit.
… for disabled people
- Suffer the same cuts as older people, plus many people with ‘personal care budgets’ will be forced to pay more to get the same services.
- It will be more difficult to qualify for council care.
- The council’s supported-employment schemes: Yorkcraft and Greenworks, face an ‘efficiency saving’ of £200,000 in the second year. We don’t know what form this will take.
- Future Prospects will be less able to help disabled people find work.
- Many other services, including Dial and Ride and mental health provision will also suffer.
… for young people
- £200,000 cut in ‘Looked After Children’ and also £200,000 cut in Children’s Home Provision and another £204,000 cut achieved by setting up a dedicated centre for parents to have contact with their children in care. But a dedicated centre may not always be suitable for all families. All at a time when the number of children requiring help is growing.
- £90,000 cut on ‘restructuring’ Young Offenders Team and Young People’s Services.
- Many cuts and ‘efficiency savings’ will also increase the running costs of schools. And a £40,000 saving in not filling lollypop man/lady vacancies.
… for everyone
- A minimum of 117 full-time jobs to be lost, with more indirect job losses.
- Cuts to gritting routes, gully cleaning, road repairs and grass cutting.
- Cuts to York Museums Trust (20%) and York Theatre Royal (10%).
- Increased reliance on Voluntary Sector for Neighbourhood Management, as well as for Libraries and Community Education (via a new Social Enterprise).
Cutting so much out of the budget will cause those who rely most on the council’s services to be hit the hardest. The poorest are being made to pay, how can this be fair?
says Mark Bentley, a member of York Stop the Cuts