A report published today highlights the extraordinary impact that a decade of austerity has had on the council workforce in Wales.
Local government has had to endure almost £1bn in cuts since the onset of austerity in 2009. Today’s Public Sector in Wales report, by the Wales Governance Centre’s Fiscal Analysis team, shows that 37,000 local government jobs were lost between December 2009 and September 2018, equating to 19.9% of the workforce.
After doing the heavy lifting on public sector cuts, leaders and councillors from across Wales have consistently argued that vital local services are no longer able to absorb further sweeping budget reductions without devastating implications for service delivery.
Councillor David Poole (Caerphilly), WLGA Workforce Spokesperson said:
“Local government workers account for social workers, teachers, road workers, rubbish collectors, lifeguards at leisure centres, librarians and much more in between, and this report shows in stark terms how these jobs are being lost from our communities due to the ongoing cuts. The council workforce has borne the brunt of austerity more than any other sector. Despite the increasing demands placed on them, they have continued to deliver the services that are vital for the wellbeing of our communities. However, the ability of the workforce to shoulder such cuts without the delivery of vital services being affected, such as social care and education, is now at an end.”
Councillor Anthony Hunt (Torfaen), WLGA Finance Spokesperson said:
“The pay bill for providing vital local services is £3.6bn and we have to invest that to keep schools, day centres and treasured local facilities running to provide the support and services that people need on a daily basis. Just to inflation-proof pay for the staff providing local services will cost over £100m in 2020-21. It is vital that governments at all levels start to recognise the how vital it is that local services receive a fair settlement that recognises these pressures in the run up to budget announcements in the Autumn.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The ‘Public Sector in Wales’ report by Wales Fiscal Analysis is available to be viewed online: