Most council workers say authorities no longer provide quality service

Almost three in five council employees believe the local authority they work for no long provides quality services '“ with the same number also believing their council does not make the right decisions for the public.

Almost three in five councils employees believe their local authority no longer provides quality services. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

A survey of more than 2,000 local government workers in Scotland by the trade union Unison found 82 per cent said cuts to budgets had a negative impact on their ability to do their job.

More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of those questioned said local residents did not receive help and support when they needed it, while 51 per cent were not confident that vulnerable people are safe and cared for.

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Council workers identified a lack of front line staff (69 per cent), adult social care (59 per cent), safeguarding children and young people (41 per cent), a lack of housing options (43 per cent) and road repairs (46 per cent) as being the biggest challenges facing local authorities in Scotland.

A total of 57 per cent of those who took part in survey – which was released to coincide with the union’s local government conference – said they no longer believe their authority provides quality services, with the same proportion saying they did not think the council they work for takes the right decisions for the public.

Seven out of ten workers (70 per cent) were worried about the financial situation of the council where they work, with 74 per cent saying jobs had been cut in their department.

As a result, more than half (57 per cent) do not feel their position is secure, while 52 per cent described their workload as being “unmanageable” and another 57 per cent reporting that they regularly work beyond their contracted hours.

Looking ahead, more than three-quarter (78 per cent) have no confidence in the future of local services, with 50 per cent thinking of quitting their post for a less stressful job.