SIPTU representatives have today (Monday, 1st November) called on the Government to ensure that the legacy of the pandemic is a well-funded, properly staffed, dynamic, local public service model that can boost the living standards of workers and communities. The call comes following the marking of World Cities Day by the United Nations yesterday. (Sunday, 31st October). SIPTU Public Administration and Community Divisional Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “The pandemic has shown the real value of the essential public services local authority workers provide to our cities, towns and rural communities every day. Our members made sure the provision of healthcare, water, electricity, transport, funeral, housing and education services didn’t stop. They were the difference and made it possible for people to keep safe; for hospitals to treat patients; and for businesses to function throughout this once-in-a-century public health crisis.” “United Nations World Cities Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of these essential public services to our people and society. Now is a good time to look to the future of local democracy and service provision by planning a better, more ambitious model that responds to the unique challenges of our times.” He added: “Through the ‘More Power to You’ initiative, SIPTU is campaigning, alongside our trade union colleagues, for a greater role for local authorities in the delivery of public services in order to enhance their accessibility and accountability as well as bringing their control closer to communities. There can be no going back to the days when public services and public service workers are undervalued and under-resourced. There is too much at stake.”