Slashing £22m from Luton Council’s budget would be ‘catastrophic’ for the town, UNISON warns today.
Councils across the UK face the prospect of huge deficits because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Luton has been particularly hard hit due to its reliance on revenues from the airport.
It predicts a yearly loss of at least £49m because of the virus, £37m of that from Luton Airport Ltd, and warns that it will be forced to make severe £22m cuts to services unless central government steps in.
UNISON, which represents staff working for the council and across Luton’s public services, supports the council’s call for emergency cash and urges people to sign a petition calling on the government to help fund essential local services.
UNISON Eastern regional organiser Lorraine Kalaher said: “Lutonians have already shouldered more than £100m of cuts over the last decade. Even more would be catastrophic for the town and region.
“This isn’t just a problem in Luton, towns and cities across the country risk going into freefall if there’s not more help from Westminster.
“For the wider economy to recover, local economies will need to flourish. Local councils are absolutely essential to this.
“The government must urgently provide more cash to keep Luton afloat.”