Unison fear Northamptonshire workers will pay for council's failings with their jobs... then get hit with a higher tax bill

Penny Smith
Penny Smith

Council staff in Northamptonshire should not be the ones to pay for the county council's financial failings especially because they could lose their jobs, says workers union Unison.

Next week will see all eight of the county's councils vote on the proposals to restructure Northamptonshire local government into two unitary authorities.

But Penny Smith, Unison's branch secretary at Northamptonshire County Council, says there are real fears staff could be hit with a double blow of losing their jobs at the same time as a massive tax hike.

"This report states that this reorganisation requires action to address the county’s financial position," she said.

"Our fear is that the staff and the communities they serve will be forced to pay the cost of the failings of Northamptonshire County Council.

"All we are hearing is that the cuts are going to be unprecedented with no detail as to what that means.

"There continues to be a lack of transparency and forethought of decision making. Repeating the mistakes that got us here.

"This is devastating for the staff and people of Northamptonshire. The Best Value report in March 2018 was clear that hardworking staff were not to blame.

"Workers should be able to focus on how best to deliver their jobs not on whether they will have one or not."

Mrs Smith says her union wants guarantees from the Government that the reorganisation is "responsibly managed and properly funded".

She says costs should not be billed to the county's taxpayers but rather the Government should pay for basic services and pay the staff that provide them.