A PROTEST has been staged outside Salford Civic Centre after proposed cuts to the Council’s Watchdog Department.
37 union members have responded to news that Salford City Council plan to axe 14 jobs in the regulatory and urban renewal sectors.
Those under threat of redundancy deal with slum landlords, dangerous products and rogue traders across the city.
A wage cut of £100 a week has also been proposed for employees in the same departments, which are due to be ‘restructured’ by the Council.
Protesters claim that the actions will cause detriment to the people of Salford.
“Part of the cuts are savings from the team that we are all in.” Explains Housing Standards Officer Michael Willis, as he gestures to the crowd of protesters behind him.
“I work in housing, and it’s usually threats like slum landlords we have to deal with.”
Slum properties in Greater Manchester are a persistent problem, with some Housing Officers reporting instances of mold growing on walls, rotten doors and windowpanes, and even flooring that has completely disintegrated.
Such houses, which are deemed unfit for residence and rented out illegally, are often occupied by families with small children.
Willis believes that the proposed cuts will only serve to make housing problems in Salford worse.
“With these cuts, it would mean less officers to go and carry out home inspections, do the enforcement actions and bring these properties up to standard,” continues Michael.
“If we don’t have the resources, I imagine that Salford would have more slum landlords, which means more slum properties.”
A meeting to determine whether or not the decision would be finalised was held at 11:30 am this morning (Tuesday 10th October).
It was attended by the majority of the UNISON protesters.
Details on the outcome of the meeting are yet to be released.