‘Westminster must step in and stop Stevenage going under,’ says trade union UNISON

PUBLISHED: 11:55 19 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:55 19 May 2020

Trade union UNISON has implored Westminster to provide more funds. Picture: UNISON

Trade union UNISON has implored Westminster to provide more funds. Picture: UNISON

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Responding to news that Stevenage Borough Council is reviewing a possible Section 114 notice, the UK’s largest trade union has called on the government to step in.

Yesterday, this paper reported that SBC was on the verge of going effectively bankrupt after leader Sharon Taylor confirmed that a Section 114 notice is ‘under review.’

UNISON’S eastern regional organiser Nalin Cooke has today warned that a Section 114 would be “disastrous news for Stevenage.”

Mr Cooke said: “Staff have been going flat out to keep as many services as possible running through the pandemic, with residents still able to rely on support with their housing, still receiving benefits and still having their bins collected.

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“They’ve pulled together to support the food bank, helping the town’s most vulnerable residents. We can’t allow the reward for commitment to be mass redundancies. UNISON will fight job losses every step of the way.”

Mr Cooke added: “Local councils have weathered years of budget cuts from central government forcing them to rely more and more on business rates and council tax for their revenue. With high streets shut down they’re losing out on millions.

“But after years of slashing funding to the bone, central government is now withholding life support – with the emergency cash not even making up a quarter of the losses.

“Westminster must step in and stop Stevenage going under.”

UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police forces and energy.


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