My brother works in local government in Wigan, northwest UK. He heads up parks, cemetries, sports centres, libraries, leisure services, cultural events etc etc. My sister-in-law heads a small NGO, Nightsafe, in Blackburn helping young women who have got into a little bit of trouble (prostitution, drugs, getting beaten up, sleeping on the street etc etc)
I asked yesterday how the cuts would impact them personally. Here is the reply:
"More than likely. I expect I shall be made redundant later this year (once I've made 25% of our library staff redundant). Paula is struggling to get funding for Nightsafe to survive but will probably keep her job until she retires in about 12 months.
The cuts are horrifying and all services funded through local government are at risk - while the coalition may change its mind about some things where they can't blame anyone else (Forestry Commission sell off, school sports partnerships, instrumental music teaching) they won't change their mind when they can blame local authorities, PCTs etc. Then they frontload the levels of savings they insist on, and hit deprived areas harder than some of the "shires".
The cuts aren't about deficit reduction - they're ideologically driven.