Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 16:45 UK

Union warning over tax cut plan

Peter Davies
Mr Davies described the union's warning as "scaremongering"

Plans by the Mayor of Doncaster to cut council tax by 3% could affect essential services in the town, a union has warned.

Unison said the proposal by Peter Davies could result in reduced funding for children's services, home care and highways maintenance.

A spokesman said this would place added pressure on Doncaster Council workers.

Mr Davies said the union was "scaremongering" and he wanted to give taxpayers value for money.

'Unbearable pressure'

A Unison spokesman said: "Whilst we are sure that everybody would welcome having to pay less council tax, we think it is important to think about what the Doncaster public could lose.

"We believe that any further squeezing of budgets to achieve the mayor's council tax cut will push already hard-pressed workers over the edge and bring essential services to the verge of collapse."

He added that the union had learned that the council wanted managers to make savings of 15% within children's services over the next three years.

In January an independent review was launched into children's services at Doncaster, following the deaths of seven children in the area.

"We are concerned that this alone will place unbearable pressure on workers who have worked with continuous dedication to achieve the best for children and young people against a backdrop of negative publicity and acute staff shortages," the union said.

But Mr Davies said: "This is scaremongering of the worst kind which does nothing other than cause great worry to our staff.

"What I want is to give taxpayers value for money at a time when councils up and down the country are having to look at potential savings. This may lead to difficult choices in our budget decisions, but it is out of order for Unison to pick out certain categories of staff at this stage."

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