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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 January 2016

Councillors must resist

Naomi Byron, Tower Hamlets Socialist Party

Lord Porter, Tory chair of the Local Government Association, says that "even if councils stopped filling in potholes, maintaining parks, closed all children's centres, libraries, museums, leisure centres and turned off every street light, they will not have saved enough money to plug the financial black hole they face by 2020."

It's ironic that Tory councillors are starting to openly criticise cuts to local government as Labour administrations, like Tower Hamlets in east London, are keeping on cutting essential services.

Poorest bear brunt

Yet again it's the poorest and most vulnerable that will bear the brunt of these cuts if they go ahead. These cuts include: charging for social care, shutting libraries on Sundays, scrapping bursaries for undergraduates and new teachers, cuts to children's centres and early years services... the list goes on.

Cuts to school trips and school crossings are some of the most cowardly proposals.

Mayor John Biggs says that these services won't go as schools can fund them instead. But how many teachers or essential repairs would the schools have to cut in order to keep them?

To add insult to injury Biggs is proposing a 4% increase in council tax alongside the cuts. This is causing real anger.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is campaigning for a no-cuts alternative 'people's budget'. We are working with the Tower Hamlets Independent Group of councillors, as well as local trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners, to build resistance to the proposed cuts.

Jeremy Corbyn

TUSC opposes all cuts. This chimes with council workers, local residents and anti-cuts campaigners. Just as Jeremy Corbyn is vilified in the media but has mass support for his pro-working-class, anti-austerity message, we believe it is possible to build a real mass movement against cuts, linking Tower Hamlets up with other cities drawing up alternative budgets.

The only way councillors can stop the huge Tory cuts is to mobilise a mass campaign of the council workforce, local residents and anti-cuts campaigners.

The best way to unite the maximum number of people against government cuts is to refuse to implement them. Those who say we should pick one cut over another as 'realistic' are being divisive.

Council housing, the welfare state and the NHS would never have existed without the courage of people like the Poplar councillors in east London in the 1920s declaring that they would do what is necessary, not what the media and other politicians told them was 'realistic'.

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In The Socialist 13 January 2016:


What we think

Corbyn must lead a fight against the right and for an anti-austerity programme


NHS

NHS not safe in Tory hands

Junior doctors' strike: picket photos and reports

Health workers under attack!

Doctors battle burnout as 100 full-up GP surgeries apply to shut their doors

"Shattered but proud", a day in the life of a student nurse

Student nurses march to oppose bursary cut


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bosses 'earn' year's pay in under a week

BBC planned live Labour resignation to damage Corbyn

EU probes power plant for wrongdoing over switch from coal to biomass

What We Saw

Them & Us


Housing crisis

Slums, speculation, sell-offs and sardines

Cameron's housing con

Housing staff strike against cuts

Cameron's 10,000 new homes won't hide the problem

476,000 homes in England go unbuilt by speculators


Council cuts

A clear strategy to defeat the Tory cuts

Council uses reserves to stop cuts

Councillors must resist cuts

Southampton people's budget meeting


Readers' comments and reviews

Victor Jara's revolutionary life, poetry and politics

Letters


International socialist news and analysis

Sexual assaults in Cologne exploited by racist establishment and far right

Saudi Arabia mass executions

Honduras: Day of the endangered lawyer


Workplace news and analysis

West Dunbartonshire teachers strike

Energy-filled pickets at EDF

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

"We hope to inspire people to go out and spread their passion for the Socialist"

Report: Socialist Party national women's meeting

Eleanor Marx: a life of struggle, solidarity and socialism


 

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