Congratulations to Conservative-run North Lincolnshire Council which is ending its funding for the trade unions. They will cease paying salaries for union officials or providing free office space and thus save the Council Taxpayer £50,000. Instead they are boosting their apprenticeships programme.
The council leader Cllr Liz Redfern, says:
"We have an ambitious plan to deliver more apprenticeships for young people locally.
"By removing taxpayers' money from funding trade union posts, we will be able to create 10 new apprenticeship posts.
"I know many residents struggle to reconcile that taxpayers' money is spent on payments to trade unions, especially when they supply millions of pounds to fund some political parties.
"Unions clearly pay an important role in representing their members.
"However, given that we have historically only subsidised two out of the 10 unions, there is also an issue of fairness.
"We of course remain committed to working with the unions in the interests of their members."
Cllr Redfern might want to check if the NUT are being given a funded post beneath the General Fund radar. She might also like to check that her council is not collecting the unions subs for them.
Swindon Council have also axed two Council Taxpayer funded union officials.
Opposition Labour councillors have been indignant. Given that the Labour Party is 85% union funded they could hardly be expected to be otherwise. However I suspect most Council Taxpayers will approve of the change.
North Lincolnshire and Swindon are ahead of the pack. With new guidance from the DCLG expect many more councils to follow.