7 December 2009
UNISON mounts funeral procession for lost Community
Edinburgh UNISON Branch members staged a mock funeral
procession in memory of community learning services
that have been cut and are in danger of being cut
further by the City of Edinburgh Council.
The event took place in the High Street, Edinburgh,
outside a meeting of the Education, Children & Families
Committeeat the Council's City Chambers at 2pm on
Monday 7th December 2009.
A coffin representing lost and at risk services
in Community Learning and Development was transported
along the High Street accompanied by 'Grim Reapers'
and stop outside the City Chambers, where a list
of lost services were read out and ceremonially
dispatched into the coffin.
Over the last two years, the Council's Community
Learning & Development service (formerly Community
Education) has suffered serious funding cuts, amounting
to around 10% of its overall budget.
"These cuts will hit at the very fabric of Edinburgh's
proud history in lifelong learning and building
better and safer communities", said Lawrence Arscott,
Edinburgh UNISON spokesperson for the Community
Learning and Development Campaign.
"Already we have lost youth workers in schools,
part-time youth workers, youth literacy workers,
adult literacy workers, staff in community centres
and staff in voluntary groups, including the Scouts
and Lothian Association of Youth Clubs", he added.
Currently more cuts are planned by the Council,
not only for 2010, but also for the following two
years and these will include the closure of some
community centres, further reductions in adult literacy
work and less support for voluntary organisations.
"UNISON opposes these cuts because they remove
vital services to people of all ages in the city,
amongst them some of the most vulnerable members
of the community, for example adults needing help
with reading, writing and numeracy, and disadvantaged
young people who need some positive direction in
their lives", added Agnes Petkevicius, UNISON Edinburgh
This mock funeral procession has been organised
to highlight the impact of both past cuts and, more
importantly, further planned cuts, to Community
Learning & Development.
UNISON is urging people to contact their own councillors
to express their concerns about the impact of such
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