Councils must be held accountable for use of cash reserves, union says

Trade union Unite has called for local authorities to be held accountable for the way in which they use cash reserves, in a 14-point campaign.

The campaign urges councils to use cash reserves more creatively in order to lessen the impact of budget cuts. It will also lobby councils to use appropriate borrowing and re-financing to make savings and suggests borrowing to invest to help generate income.

In a statement Unite said: “We need to hold councils to account about the level of reserves they have.

“The breakdown of reserves needs to be examined, including what is earmarked and for what. Trends in using reserves should be tracked - are they increasing or decreasing and why?

“If a council continues to build reserves, or keep reserve levels static, when there has not been a need to use them in previous years, then this should be exposed.”