Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/799/18178
Councils pass on Tory pain
Peter Redfarn, Lewisham TUSC
Lewisham Labour mayor Steve Bullock's council policy is cuts, cuts and more cuts. There have already been £82 million of them, £17 million are planned after May's council election.
He wants at least another £85 million, stretching into 2018 whoever wins the general election.
In December Bullock and his cabinet decided further cuts and charge increases. Many cuts were aimed at children.
A lobby by the union Unite forced £300,000 of cuts in the School Attendance and Welfare (truancy) Service, plus the £200,000 previously agreed, to be "deferred" but not cancelled.
The mayor reduced the number of recycling rounds to eight from nine, eliminating four jobs. This decision was referred back but is likely to go ahead unless the unions put up a fight.
The rent for a single bed space will rise 25% to £150 a week, and to £190 a week for three bed spaces.
These are for homeless people at the top of the waiting list, and don't include gas, electricity and water.
Lewisham Homes talks about a property 'ladder', but for Lewisham people it is more like a snake.
The 2011 census shows 24.3% of Lewisham households rent privately, up from 14.3% in 2001. Meanwhile homeowners went down from 15.4% to 14.9%, mortgage payers from 33.1% to 27.5% and council tenants from 26.6% to 16.6%.
The mayor approved putting the out-of-hours emergency service out to tender, reckoning to save £100,000 a year.
But direct labour would do a better job cheaper. One company mentioned is Capita whose boss earns £900,000 a year, and which has a proven record of incompetence.
The boss of Mitie, which is refurbishing homes in Lewisham, is paid over £1 million a year.
There's no need to attack public services - taking all services back in-house would save millions of pounds, for example.
Fight the cuts!
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
- Click here to read our full appeal statement
- Click here for our coronavirus articles and reports
- Click here to join the Socialist Party
In The Socialist 19 February 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
The Socialist readers' comments