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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2017

Surveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance between the RMT union, Socialist Party and others to give an electoral alternative to cuts-making and pro-capitalist politicians, photo Socialist Party

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance between the RMT union, Socialist Party and others to give an electoral alternative to cuts-making and pro-capitalist politicians, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour conference speech was greeted with predictable hostility by big business representatives like the CBI. But also by many councillors from Labour's still powerful Blairite wing.

Councillors in Haringey, north London, for example, pushing through a 'social cleansing' redevelopment plan, immediately opposed the newly announced policy for tenants' and leaseholders' ballots before such schemes can go ahead.

So how many Labour councillors will back Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies? The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has launched a survey to find out.

During the autumn councils start drawing up next year's spending plans, which are finally agreed at budget-setting meetings in February or March. This includes public consultation events and discussions with the council workers' trade unions.

This is certainly a time to bring into the debate the TUSC policy of 'no-cuts people's budgets' - of councils using their reserves and borrowing powers to set budgets that don't pass on Tory cuts and using the breathing space provided to demand that central government makes up future shortfalls.

There are 124 Labour-led councils and their combined spending power is greater than the state budgets of 16 EU countries! If they declared that they will set no-cuts budgets next year - in the expectation that they would be reimbursed by a future Labour government - what could the Tories do? Councillors could play their part in forcing May's government out of office - but will they?

The TUSC questionnaire asks local groups to find out the main outlines of their council Labour group's initial proposals for the 2018-19 budget and, if there are elections next year, when will the local party's council election manifesto be agreed? And where candidates have been selected, have right-wing Blairites been replaced?

Gathering this information will help TUSC decide how best it can act to build support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into the new year.

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In The Socialist 4 October 2017:


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Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events


What we think

The Tories must be driven out


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Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

Bending the knee v Trump


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tories wreck our NHS

11,000 raised in three weeks for fighting fund

Why I joined: I wanted to change things

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Surveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

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Related links:

Labour:

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleTrades council debates workers' political representation

triangleStarmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis

triangleSocial partnership is an attempt to shackle trade unions and prevent industrial action

triangleNo return to the 1930s: World War Two and 'a land fit for heroes'

Cuts:

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triangleJohnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

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Councillors:

triangleCamarthenshire: Councillors' 'walk of shame'

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TUSC:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleNew twist in Derby TUSC election agent case

Government:

triangleContract tracer speaks out: Tories' plan is outsourced chaos

Council:

triangleHomes needed to end overcrowding

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleSabotage - the inner workings of Labour's political machine exposed

Budget:

triangleNewham campaign set up against council cuts and tax hikes

Anti-austerity:

triangleLabour Party leadership contest: Fight for a mass anti-austerity, workers' party with a socialist programme

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleTUSC suspends electoral activity

Council workers:

triangleEnd council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

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