UNISON members in Adur and Worthing speak out on cuts

“You cannot keep cutting and expect the same level of care we are humans dealing with other human beings. We are not robots.”

As part of UNISON’s campaign for more money for local councils, in the Autumn Budget, we recently conducted a survey of 21,000 people working in local councils and outsourced council services on the impact of cuts to services.

This is a constituency-level breakdown of the results for UNISON members living and working in the Worthing West and East Worthing and Shoreham constituencies.

  • Only 6% think that the quality of services delivered for the public has improved
  • Only 19% think that the council has helped more residents in the past two years
  • Only 28% think that the council is delivering quality services, despite budget restrictions
  • Only 3% think that local residents receive the help and support they need at the right time
  • 78% say that budget cuts, in the past two years, have had an impact on their ability to do the job as best they can.

Below is a breakdown of what members believe the biggest challenges facing their employers are:

Benefits, Including Universal Credit Rollout 31% Safeguarding children and Young people 56%
Lack of Housing Options 59% Children’s services closures 47%
Road Repair 44% Lack of Front-line Staff 63%
Homelessness 47% Cuts to youth Services 38%
Adult Social Care 59% Other 9%
  • 72% say jobs have been cut in their department
  • Only 28% say that their workload is manageable
  • 97% say they are working beyond their contracted hours.

When it comes to confidence in the council

  • 75% say that they are not confident about the future of local services.
  • Only 16% say that they are confident that vulnerable local residents are safe and cared for.
  • Only 13% say that they are confident in the financial situation of their employer.
  • 53% are thinking about leaving their job for something less stressful
  • 31% are thinking about leaving their job for something better paid

Here are some views from council workers:

“You cannot keep cutting and expect the same level of care we are humans dealing with other human beings. We are not robots.”

“We are having to prioritise critical cases instead of early intervention so we are always fire fighting, making mistakes in case work, partners struggling too so not being able to progress referrals, people passing the buck because they are overwhelmed, taking on more so less expertise as spread more thinly.”

“Having been a hospital social worker for 10 years and now working in a DoLS team I have seen cuts in essential preventative, therapeutic and community based services that have had a direct impact on my ability to support people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.”

“Cuts make it more difficult to provide services for enough residents”

“I am being made redundant in the middle of September due to cuts. We are a self funding department but all the heads of services see is we cost money. They think it is cheaper to outsource to another council rather than keep the money in the local council even though we have pointed this out to them”

“We are severely understaffed, which means we are unable to provide the best service we can. We all had to reapply for our job roles and some vital positions got cut entirely. It is extremely difficult to take pride in the work we do now as we cannot make any positive changes due to budget constraints. Resources are not available nor are some facilities”

“Funding for the young people my team support is no longer there, training costs now cut and funding for resources have been cut”

“The ability to respond to need is restricted. Staff are overworked and cannot deliver as much as needed. The development of services can’t happen as we are delivering more now due to budget cuts so the services are not as good as can be. Picking up more work leaving less time to manage current projects”

“it is easier for the public to raise issues which must be dealt with in a set time frame but staffing and resource levels have been reduced & this means I am unable to cope with the work within the time frames and find myself constantly stressed”

“The team I work in has been reduced but the workload has increased which means all the team are under greater pressure.”

“There has been restructure after restructure to cope with constant resource changes. We therefore have no consistency, so staff are being overworked with public services inevitably being hit. Councils now have to invest to save, for example property investment, and this of course presents greater pressure with dwindling resources.”