A LOCAL union says members are 'dismayed' at widespread cuts across West Dunbartonshire and warned the loss of jobs and services will hit poorer families hardest.

Unison slammed the decision to raise council tax whilst cutting much-needed council provisions such as street cleaning, public area bin collection and grass cutting.

In March, West Dunbartonshire Council approved a raft of cuts to local services in a bid to plug a £14.7 million financial blackhole - a figure down from £21.2m from December when prior cuts were made.

And the trade union have urged councillors to come back to the table to discuss the harm the cuts are already having on the community and promised to do everything within their power to fight the changes.

Unison regional organiser, Gillian Bannatyne said: “Councillors must vote against these cuts.

"It is the poorer families who will be hardest hit.

"Debt advice and welfare advice are a lifeline for many families. Last year alone Welfare Rights brought in over £7 million into our local economy, meanwhile our debt advice team supported citizens to manage over £2 million pounds of debt and prevented many families from being made homeless.”

At a full council budget meeting on March 1, councillors were presented with options by chief officers from which to cut and agreed to slash budgets and staffing levels to departments such as community learning and development teams, youth work teams, the communities team, welfare rights teams and money and debt advice teams. 

Ms Bannatyne added: "Youth services give our young people new skills and help them lead healthier lives, and literacy classes are vital for adults to find better work and lift themselves and their children from poverty. 

"Unison is leading this campaign together with the local community to do everything we can to stop these cuts.”

According to the Scottish Governments data (SiMD), West Dunbartonshire is one of the poorest local authorities in Scotland, prompting fears vital lifeline services will really hit the most deprived areas hard.

The union, who are planning to protest outside council HQ on June 10, say six out of every 10 council workers live in the community and many are frustrated at current conditions within the local authority.

West Dunbartonshire Council have been approached for a response.