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County cuts - UNISON takes legal advice
12:50pm Wednesday 8th December 2010 in The latest on the Government Spending Cuts
UNION bosses are considering legal action to halt £43million of service cuts and 700 job losses at County Hall.
UNISON representatives want to challenge the plans by Somerset County Council, which has just announced a further £30million of cuts and 800 more redundancies.
Nigel Behan, Somerset branch secretary, said the authority has not provided evidence of equality impact assessments prior to the cuts being approved.
He said: “We've taken legal advice in relation to mounting a challenge to the council's decision on the basis of abuse of process and the possibility of taking this to a judicial review.”
Mr Behan added: “The branch further notes with concern that Somerset County Council is being hailed by the Coalition Government as an example of the way in which councils across the UK might reduce their budgets, having paid no evident regard to the impact on the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of their communities.
“For these reasons, and for the sake of employees and the public who'll be profoundly affected by their actions, it's imperative to instigate a challenge to Somerset County Council.”
Cllr Harvey Siggs, the authority's cabinet member for highways and human resources, said: “We're looking at the impact of the proposals in the budget which will be formally set in February.
“We'll be publishing details of the impact of the savings proposals put forward so far and will continue to publish details as further decisions are made.
“We still haven't had full details of how much money we will receive from government, so we have to be flexible throughout this area.”