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TUSC councillor rejects Walsall cuts 'consultation'
Walsall council has begun a public consultation on 'spending priorities for 2013-14', speaking of further cuts of around £67 million over the next four years. The consultation questionnaire asks people to say which council services 'were most important to them' and which were 'less important'. Unsurprisingly, it did not include the option of saying no to all the cuts.
Below is an extract from Walsall councillor Pete Smith's reply to Walsall Voluntary Action about the consultation.
Councillor Smith is a member of the Walsall Democratic Labour Party, part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
Those who care about public services would be well advised to keep out of this exercise in my opinion...
Are we seriously asking the people to legitimise a process whereby they and their fellow citizens will pay more and receive less services, year by year? With respect, count me out...
The citizens and workers of Walsall borough, led by their councillors, should:
- Oppose all cuts
- Reject increases in council tax and increases in service charges
- Campaign and vote against the privatisation of council jobs and services
- Call on councillors to refuse to implement the cuts
- Argue that the best way to mobilise the mass public campaign that is necessary to defeat the cuts is to set a budget that meets the needs of the local community and demand that the government makes up the shortfall
- Mobilise as many sections of the community as possible to join a mass peaceful and lawful campaign to demand that their elected representatives stand up to the massive and hugely unfair cuts rather than aid and abet their implementation
Fifty-seven of the present 60 Walsall councillors belong to one of the three main party groups and therefore will behave and vote as directed by their party bosses. Only a mass popular, public, legal and peaceful campaign engaging hundreds, even thousands, of local citizens might bring a change of mind.
Councillor Pete Smith
Go to www.tusc.org.uk to see the complete letter and more
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 2012 conference
Saturday 22 September, 11am-5pm
Speakers include Walsall councillor Pete Smith and former 'Liverpool 47' councillor Tony Mulhearn
Room B34, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E
Registration £5 waged/£2 unwaged
In The Socialist 29 August 2012:
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