What is under threat?
Moray Council is proposing cuts to a swathe of services – community engagement, rural serivces, roads maintenance, youth work which helps reduce anti-social behaviour and public toilets. Community Centres, swimming pools,
Designing Better Services (DBS) is Moray Council’s programme of delivering efficiencies within the council, while (supposedly) improving the service delivered to members of the public. There are a number of aspects to this programme currently ongoing:
The Situation in Moray
A few years ago Moray UNISON was part of a successful campaign to prevent the transfer of Moray Council housing to a housing association. At the time many councils were considering such transfers, and the largest to go ahead was in Glasgow. Since then we can see the results of moving responsibility for providing social housing from a service directly provided by the council to other providers. Terms and conditions have been gradually undermined, rents have increased and there is a lack of accountability. With upcoming budget cuts councils will again be looking to cut corners when delivering services, and we must be prepared to fight any attempts to resurrect such plans.
Moray UNISON strongly campaigned against the proposals to use PPP funding to rebuild schools in Moray. We have not questioned the need to replace outdated buildings, however the expense and lack of value for money involved in PPP has been shown by the original plan to rebuild 6 schools having been scaled back to just 2.
With construction underway at both Elgin Academy and Keith Primary School our focus now is on ensuring the staff terms and conditions remain protected. For the immediate future cleaners, kitchen staff and janitors will remain employed by the council, however further into the contract this could change and we will be vigilant to ensure we are ready to fight this should it happen.