The trade unions of West Dunbartonshire have joined forces to demand the local authority councillors reject the ‘savage’ upcoming service cut proposals.

Representatives from Unison, Unite, the GMB and the EIS have come together to firmly oppose the plans by West Dunbartonshire Council to once again axe services across the region in a bid to plug a multi-million financial blackhole.

Last night, the council released plans to plug the £8.3 million deficit by taking action such as closing local bowling clubs, reducing funding for community groups and potentially ceasing garden waste collection, to name but a few.

Now, in anticipation of the cuts, the Joint Trade Unions body has urged WDC to set a precedent by rejecting further cuts to local services.

A spokesperson said: “Cuts in local authorities simply cannot continue.  Members have been expected to work smarter, work harder, whilst doing more with less due to “efficiencies savings.

“The simple truth is there are no more “efficiencies” and there haven’t been for years. 

“West Dunbartonshire continues to suffer due to decades of cuts to essential services.  This cannot go on any longer.  We therefore demand the following:

“Elected members of WDC refuse to pass these cuts on to our members and our community.

“Elected members should support our community campaign in actions and words.

“Elected members also play a leading role in the community campaign to win more money from the Scottish and UK governments.

“Members of the public who agree that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH should attend their ELECTED MEMBERS surgeries to express their concerns.”

The group plans to protest outside council HQ on March 6 when councillors meet to discuss the proposals – just as they did last year.

And they hope members of the public will join them in making a stand against the further decline of local services.

However, council leader Martin Rooney explained he echoed the trade unions' frustration and put the blame for the cuts firmly at the door of the Scottish Government.

He said: “I understand and share the anger and frustration of our trade unions, our workforce and our communities.

“We are being underfunded and undervalued by the Scottish Government and our communities and employees deserve better.

“This year we have been left with a £17million budget gap on the back of a £21m gap last year. Rising inflation and another year of chronic underfunding from the SNP means this is our most challenging budget to date. We are being forced to make impossible choices.

“As a group, we continue to campaign for West Dunbartonshire to the First Minister and his colleagues at Holyrood and I would urge the trade unions, and all of our politicians to make their voices heard there too as that's the only way we can force change and get a fair funding settlement that protects our community.

“Councils are required by law to set a balanced budget and the only way we can fill the gap we've been left with through insufficient funding is by making savings. Failing to set a budget would be the end of the Council as we know it.

The Scottish Government have been approached for comment.