Britain faces a rise in domestic violence, alcoholism and drug addiction unless more is done to head off social problems intensified by the recession, the local authority watchdog has warned.Oh noes! People will suffer! Pleeeease give us more money!
A report by the Audit Commission, published today, predicts that while communities have already been hit by job losses, falling household incomes and lower house prices, councils now need to brace themselves for the recession's "second wave", which will see many areas suffer greater social problems.It’s presented by the ‘Independent’ as a blatant appeal for more funding/no job cuts, as crude as any blackmailer’s hastily-assembled cut out letter.
It accused some local authorities of being "complacent" over the effects of the recession, as high levels of unemployment for the next three years will create an even greater need for many services already starved of funding.
But meanwhile, over in the ‘Mail’, a slightly fuller picture emerges:
But the report also revealed two out of three of the biggest employers among councils have neither cut back on their payrolls nor frozen their recruitment of workers.Wow! I’m shocked, I tell you. Shocked….
The Commission acknowledged that unemployment rose by 720,000 in the 12 months to June and is likely to go up by another 750,000 over the next 12 months.
But few jobs were lost in town halls themselves, it said.
According to its survey of councils, 65 per cent of the biggest authorities - metropolitan, unitary and county councils - have taken no action to cut recruitment since the recession started. Only one in five has made compulsory job losses.Forget their wailing and protesting – there’s plenty of fat still to be trimmed from council budgets.
Among the much smaller districts, fewer than half have made compulsory redundancies and one in six continue to hire staff in the same way that they did before the recession.
They can start with the legions of ‘diversity consultants’ and ‘waste management advisers’ before they need to worry about chopping into the front-line staffing figures…