East Ayrshire councillors urged to reject proposals to outsource swathes of community services, says UNISON

Councillors in East Ayrshire are being urged to oppose proposals to outsource music tuition, youth work, sport, befriending, literacy, and swathes of other services to a trust, says UNISON.

The union has written to councillors today (Thursday), urging them to vote against proposals to transfer these services to East Ayrshire Leisure Trust at a meeting on June 18. The union says that these proposals could mean £1.8 million of cuts.

UNISON Scotland regional manager, Simon Macfarlane said: “If the outsourcing of these services is agreed the council will have a fight on their hands. These proposals are detrimental to young and vulnerable people; will mean huge cuts if the trust doesn’t achieve ambitious profits from a standing start; and will put over 100 jobs at risk. Councillors will also be giving up democratic control over how their services are delivered.

“The council’s own innovative community engagement and support services Vibrant Communities were congratulated last year on their 10th anniversary; for their caring, kind, and connected approach. It doesn’t make sense to transfer these celebrated council services to a trust.”

Simon Macfarlane also said: “Unions have not been properly consulted. We still don’t have a written proposal we can share. Councillors should reject these proposals and ask officers to get back round the table and work with us to protect vital services and secure jobs.”

Notes to editors

East Ayrshire Council propose to transfer music tuition, events; funding advice; youth empowerment; health and wellbeing; literacies and learning; play and parental bonding; sport and physical activity; community empowerment; befriending and volunteering; and corporate catering services to East Ayrshire Leisure Trust.

Read letter to East Ayrshire Councillors here.

Since 2013, many of the services listed above are delivered through East Ayrshire Council’s unique Vibrant Communities. The council say the service has an ‘innovative and often life-changing approach and its impact on has been far-reaching’ and “empowering communities, young and old, to live happy, healthy, connected and fulfilling lives”

Further details about Vibrant Communities services here.