Stand up for jobs or lose them forever

By Emily Pearce

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

 

Stand up for jobs or lose them forever

Unison branch secretary Mark Chiverton.

A TRADE union has urged people on the Isle of Wight to attend a public meeting opposing cuts to jobs and services — or risk losing them forever.

Unison has called tomorrow’s (Wednesday) meeting following the Isle of Wight Council’s budget proposals, which include farming services out to town and parish councils, scaling back provision or, if alternative solutions cannot be found, axing them altogether.

The authority needs to save £28m over the next three years, which means almost every non-statutory service it provides is under threat.

Services including the Cowes floating bridge, Medina Theatre, leisure centres, libraries, public toilets, lollipop ladies, the maintenance of parks, beaches and cemeteries, parks and playgrounds could be affected.

In addition, there could be more than 360 council job losses over the next three years, which would further hit public services.

Unison branch secretary Mark Chiverton said it was vital people spoke out against the cuts.

"We need as many people as possible, and we hope councillors and the MP would attend as well, to show how strongly people feel. We hope to launch a hard-hitting campaign to highlight to central government how damaging these cuts will be," he said.

"In terms of services being taken on by others, we have to start to explore alternatives. We are looking at £6 million of cuts this year alone, laying the foundations for further cuts, and we must do everything we can to voice our concerns. We have to take urgent action to protect services."

• The meeting will be held at the Riverside Centre at 7pm.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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