Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/971/26466

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 November 2017

Is cuts-making Preston 'beating Tory austerity'?

Fight for no-cuts budgets

The way to beat the Tory cuts is not to make the Tory cuts, photo by Mary Finch

The way to beat the Tory cuts is not to make the Tory cuts, photo by Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Becci Heagney, Lancashire Socialist Party

Labour-controlled Preston Council has received press coverage as "beating Tory austerity" (Mirror), "where workers are in control of wealth" (Guardian) and "Jeremy Corbyn's model town" (Economist). Is this too good to be true?

There have been positive initiatives taken by the council. For example, it's an accredited Living Wage employer. It has put an emphasis on contracting local firms rather than big businesses. It's setting up a credit union, and has set up a council-owned energy supplier.

The council claims these measures have resulted in a massive increase in money spent in the local economy. This is all well and good. But there are hard limitations to what it can achieve. And meanwhile the council has cut jobs and privatised services!

Some have argued the credit union will be able to compete with the big banks in Preston, and actually take power away from them. But no local credit union will be able to lend the sort of money or offer all the products a big bank can.

Similarly, a council-owned energy supplier will be able to save some people money. But it cannot sustainably compete with the cartel of the 'Big Six'.

Private

Of course creating jobs is a good thing. But the private construction company held up for doing so, Conlon, has only created a handful. And the jobs created by Preston's focus on attracting more shops and restaurants to the high street will be of the low-paid, zero-hour type.

And many Preston initiatives are not positive at all - such as privatising leisure centres, and charging for bin collections, as part of the city's cuts budget.

The council is backing the Lancashire 'sustainability and transformation plan' in the NHS, which will mean massive cuts to hospitals. It aims to copy the 'housing boom' in Manchester by attracting private developers to build luxury apartments - with very few plans for affordable housing.

Meanwhile, homelessness is a growing problem. The council puts out propaganda that 80% of people on the streets aren't "genuinely homeless." It has brought in a rule that "beggars" will be given five minutes' notice to move on - or they will be fined or taken to court!

Many of the positive proposals in Jeremy Corbyn's hugely popular manifesto do not yet go far enough. For example on energy companies. We argue the sector must be nationalised, ending the control of the Big Six. It will be even harder to carry out these half-measures effectively in just one city.

And Preston's measures are not even far-reaching enough to deal with the issues people are facing through the austerity it continues to implement: low pay, rising living costs, lack of decent jobs and more.

The way for councillors in Preston to start "beating Tory austerity" is by refusing to pass on Tory cuts. This means using reserves and prudential borrowing, and mobilising a mass movement to win the money back across Lancashire - almost 300 million by 2020.

If Corbyn and McDonnell backed 'model towns' like that - and promised to reimburse them on coming to power - they could bring down this hated Tory government now.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 15 November 2017:


Socialism 2017

Socialism 2017: Organising to fight back


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

The Socialist Inbox


International socialist news and analysis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories on the brink - kick them out!

No more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

We're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

Is cuts-making Preston 'beating Tory austerity'?

4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

What we saw


Socialist Party workplace news

Fight to keep guards on trains continues despite setback Aslef deal

Strikers picket the South Western Railway network

Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

Huge support for strikes of bus drivers and train guards

Virgin train workers ballot for strike action

Plymouth PCS members fight relocation threat


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

March for free education! We demand a future!

Corbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

Why I joined the Socialist Party: "I started to question whether there was a better way"

Carlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit


 

Home   |   The Socialist 15 November 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Preston:

triangleLancashire Stagecoach drivers continue their fight

triangleStagecoach strike - bus workers show how it's done

trianglePreston & Lancashire Socialist Party: Britain after the referendum

Austerity:

triangleSocial workers lobby Hull City Council

triangleUnite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

triangleEnd council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

triangleLabour's manifesto: fight to transform hope into a socialist society

Cuts:

triangleSurrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

triangleTata announces 1,000 job cuts - Steel unions must fight for every job!

triangleCarmarthenshire union demands no-cuts budget

Council:

triangleAvenue of trees saved!

triangleUndervalued gritters to walk out

Jobs:

triangleFighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

Lancashire:

triangleLancashire Socialist Party: Tories in meltdown - Demand a General Election now!

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleAttacks show elite fear a Corbyn election win

Councillors:

triangleOpinion: Labour Party is structured to block left councillors

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/12/19

Britain

Stand firm for socialist policies to stop Tory attacks

4/12/19

Pharmaceutical

End profiteering from health - nationalise big pharma

4/12/19

Labour

Prepare now for the struggles after 12 December

4/12/19

The Socialist

Keep up to date with our election coverage

4/12/19

NHS

News in brief

4/12/19

Hillsborough

Hillsborough justice eluded

30/11/19

London

Unite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

27/11/19

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

27/11/19

University

Resist attacks against free speech on campus

27/11/19

Council

End council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

27/11/19

Tories

Tories launch 'non manifesto'

27/11/19

Labour

Labour's manifesto: fight to transform hope into a socialist society

27/11/19

Monarchy

Prince Andrew outrage exposes establishment

27/11/19

Tory

Tory election campaign's dirty tricks and lies

20/11/19

Wages

Wages flatline, while shareholders profit

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999