minister, John Prescott, not to cut government financial support for Reading
as Whitehall will decide within weeks Reading BC's financial
The T&G has joined with the council and local MPs to press
ministers not to cut up to£4m from Reading's budget by redirecting
resources to northern councils as part of the formula grant review. The
union said today that such a cut would threaten service delivery and the
ability of Reading BC to pay more to recruit and retain public
T&G national organiser Jack Dromey, addressing the union's service sector
conference today said:
'Government should not rob resources from Reading. If northern councils
deserve more to meet the needs of their communities, and they do, then the
answer is not to 'rob Peter to pay Paul.'
'Reading needs more resources not less, not least because the council needs
to pay more to recruit and retain staff.
'Our first task is to win a fair deal for the council in this year's
financial settlement. We will then sit down with councillors to negotiate a
Reading 'cost-of-living allowance.' House prices have soared by 80 per cent
in three years and now the council is engaged in a worldwide trawl for staff
because local people cannot make ends meet on current pay rates.
'2002 must see more not less for Reading. 2003 must see a fair deal for
Reading's public servants with a good new cost-of-living allowance for all.'
T&G convenor for Reading BC, Stan Cooke, also addressing the
union's service sector conference today, added:
'The T&G nationally has swung into action to back Reading and our members.
The time has come for justice for Reading Council staff.'