The Conservative run Coalition that controls Cornwall County Council has warned that it faces losing 2,000 council jobs “over the next few years” in the wake of an estimated £110 million London Government dictated cuts programme.Tory Council Leader Alec Robertson said “Pay and wages make up around half of the Council’s budget so there will inevitably be job losses. Current estimates suggest that around 2,000 jobs will go over the next few years.
Stuart Roden from the public services union Unison said: "We're extremely shocked.
"We knew there were massive problems, but I don't think we anticipated this number of jobs when we were having discussions a few weeks ago.
"We've got to sit down and talk to the council we've received some positive messages from the chief of the council who says he wants to work with us."Richard Ascough, GMB union regional secretary for the South West, said the region's 37 councils had clocked up a total of more than £88 million in uncollected taxes (£10m in Cornwall). He said: "This level of uncollected local taxes cannot be accepted at a time when there are deficits in the public finances which are giving rise to cuts in public services and job losses at a time of high unemployment."
As Cornwall County Council has presently no Labour representation, it was left to Mebyon Kernow to respond to the cuts. Councillor Dick Cole, Party Leader, Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall moved a Council motion to establish a Commission to investigate the underfunding of public services in Cornwall.
The motion to Full Council meeting, which had cross-party support, noted that vital public services in Cornwall receive less funding than other parts of the United Kingdom, called for a Commission and for the Council to produce a briefing document which could be forwarded to central government.
Alec Robertson, the Conservative Leader of the Council, sought to add an extra section about the ongoing work of Cornish MPs but also to remove the reference to the Commission.
However, this was defeated and the main motion was carried, the text of the motion as agreed was as follows:
Notes that hospitals, schools and vital public services in Cornwall receive less funding than other parts of the United Kingdom.
Notes that public sector cuts will have an especially adverse impact on Cornwall, if we continue to receive less than our fair share of government expenditure in the first instance.
Notes the actions of the six Cornish MPs, resulting in Andrew George MPs adjournment debate, and agrees to support our MPs in lobbying for fairer funding for Cornwall in relation to (i) the 2011/2012 financial settlement and (ii) the revision of Local Government finance, recently announced by the Coalition Government.
Writes to the new Coalition Government to seek a Commission to investigate the full extent of the underfunding of Cornwall, similar to the recent Holtham Commission in Wales.
Agrees to produce a briefing document, outlining our broad concerns about the underfunding of Cornwall, which can also be forwarded to central government.