“Counting the cost...”, UNISON’S latest report on the long-term impact of austerity, shows that cuts across council services shrink women’s lives, making it harder to get to or find work, feel like part of their community and feel safe when travelling at night. Key findings from the report include:
- As a result of the cuts, over a third of women felt more cut off from their community, 28% felt more cut off from finding a job and 12% felt more cut off from their families.
- £82m has been cut from children’s centre budgets in the past three years and 285 children’s centres have merged or closed since 2010.
- Over one million street lights are now switched off or dimmed for a set period overnight across Great Britain. 85% of women said that too little street lighting would affect how safe they felt at night and 70% said it would affect how often they travelled.
UNISON is calling for an annual national audit of the impact of local spending decisions on women and a new system of needs-based funding for local government to put towards fair pay for workers – the majority of whom are women – and improving services.
“Counting the cost...” supports UNISON’s Save Our Local Services campaign, which aims to expose the impact of central government cuts on local councils and lead the campaign against further cuts. Support the Save Our Local Services campaign online: Like and share UNISON’s Save Our Local Services campaign on Facebook and tweet about the campaign using #SOSlocalservices.