Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1110/31637

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 November 2020

Croydon Council declares bankruptcy - no cuts in Croydon or any other council

Worker Paul Mattsson

Council workers protest - photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

David Maples, Merton Unison, chair (personal capacity)

With a 66 million gap between income and expenditure, Labour-controlled Croydon Council is effectively bankrupt - politically and financially. The council has issued a section 114 notice that prohibits anything other than essential expenditure.

It threatens more job losses and cuts to services, in addition to the 410 announced in the summer. Already 59 staff have been made compulsorily redundant.

During a decade of austerity, Labour councils have had a choice. Fight for the resources for the services the community needs or come up with 'clever schemes' to generate income. Croydon chose the latter, making investments including a hotel, shopping centre and risky housing development.

A 36 million shortfall from the housing development has exacerbated the crisis. Another 30 million shortfall was caused by necessary spending to fight the pandemic and repeated cuts from central government funding.

Labour has already made deep cuts in Croydon and outsourced refuse collection, street cleaning and parks maintenance with neighbouring councils. Council chief executive Katherine Kerswell emailed all staff: "Everything that costs the council money, including our terms and conditions, will need to be considered in the search for savings."

Unison, the union representing council workers, has correctly stated it will not accept a section 114 notice as cover for attacks on members' terms and conditions and jobs. But how?

Labour councillors need to make the decision to stand up for the communities they've been elected to defend or stand aside for those who will.

If a single footballer, Marcus Rashford, can force this weak and divided government into repeated U-turns over free school meals, then 7,000 Labour councillors could mount a successful campaign to gain the 12 billion needed to properly fund local services.

Extraordinarily, only one of the candidates in the Unison general secretary election, Hugo Pierre, mentions local authority cuts in their election address. The crisis in Croydon shows the absolute need for the strategy he sets out (see below).


Unison general secretary candidate Hugo Pierre says: Fight for the funds from the Tories

Hugo Pierre speaks to the Southampton trade unionists, community campaigners, students and socialists' demonstration organised by the Southampton Shop Stewards Network, photo Southampton SP

Hugo Pierre speaks to the Southampton trade unionists, community campaigners, students and socialists' demonstration organised by the Southampton Shop Stewards Network, photo Southampton SP

I want to send solidarity to all Unison members and the Unison branch in Croydon, and other trade unionists working for Croydon council. Finding out that your council has issued a Section 114 notice is worrying.

Croydon is not the only council in this situation, but looks like it's the first to crack, following years of reduced government funding and Covid 'spend whatever it takes', without sufficient funds from the government.

The Tories will no doubt call this a profligate Labour council. But this decision exposes the massive weakness of Labour councils' strategy.

Where is the pressure on Chancellor Sunak to put up the 12-15 billion that councils say is needed to end their deficits? Where is the call from the Labour frontbench to fund cash-starved councils? Why doesn't Croydon have the backing of the Labour Party to be the first council to say it refuse to make these cuts?

This lack of a strategy could have a demoralising impact on Unison members. I have been calling on our general secretary, from my seat on the Unison national executive council, to give our members in local government a fighting strategy to save their jobs and services.

We should be supporting our members to take action. And we should be calling all our local government branches together in national action, to win back the money the Tories have taken from our services.

If Labour councillors are not prepared to take this stand at this crucial time, our union should give no more money to cutting and privatising Labour councillors. It should allow our branches to democratically decide to support candidates from the trade union and workers' movement who will fight for our jobs and services.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
  • 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 donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 18 November 2020:


What we think

Tory crisis cannot be 'reset' - workers need a new mass party


News

Tories in turmoil... 'Reset' the whole system! Fight for socialism

Croydon Council declares bankruptcy - no cuts in Croydon or any other council

System failing thousands of children in care

Race disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all


Covid

Covid, vaccines, 'big pharma' - and the need for socialism


Students

Tories student 'evacuation' plan will not work

Wales exams scrapped: What's behind the headline?


Schools

Campaign for school Covid safety must continue


Workplace news

Women workers need strong trade unions to defend their jobs, pay and services

Optare: Right to strike defended

Overcrowded Little Ilford School strikes against more expansion

Strike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

Hackney council parking services brought in-house


TUSC

After Corbyn: TUSC and the fight for working-class political representation


Campaigns

How will Socialism 2020 work?

Manchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now

#SpyCops inquiry - Revealing police violence against Socialists

Selling the Socialist

Stop Leicester hospital closure


Youth

Young Socialists organising for our future


Obituary

Obituary: Paul Chettle


Letters

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 November 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Croydon:

triangle2m to remove Grenfell-type cladding: residents to get bill

triangleHorrific attack on Croydon asylum seeker

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleWorkplace news in brief

trianglePrentis pushed to talk up action

Council:

triangleRyan Aldred: Why I'm standing for Usdaw's EC

triangleNottingham City Council: Major battles against cuts ahead

triangleWelsh trades councils rally against the pay-freeze

Cuts:

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

triangleLondoners suffer and Khan piles on pressure

triangleNews in brief

Unison:

triangleUnison get sec election shows left can win NEC

triangle

Unison general secretary ballot closes

Labour:

triangleMay elections: Tories and Labour's Khan both vying to slash public services

Local government:

triangleCovid-19 pandemic increases financial pressures on Welsh local government

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

21/1/21

Socialist Party

Socialism the podcast: 2020 episodes

20/1/21

London

May elections: Tories and Labour's Khan both vying to slash public services

20/1/21

Jeremy Corbyn

Peace and Justice Project - no way forward for socialism

20/1/21

Socialist

USA in crisis - the need for a socialist alternative

20/1/21

BBC

News in Brief

20/1/21

Scotland

Millionaire tendency regains control of Scottish Labour

20/1/21

Vaccine

Vaccine confidence - a worker's response

20/1/21

Social Media

Trump Twitter ban: only independent workers' voice can defeat right

20/1/21

Pay

Make the super-rich pay, not the poorest

20/1/21

Working class

The Tory blame game: scapegoating the working class - 100% pay for all now

20/1/21

Covid

Covid: Bosses chase profit and put workers in danger

18/1/21

Britain

Latest Socialism podcast: The outlook for class struggle in 2021

13/1/21

Economy

Global capitalism at most dangerous conjuncture since the 1930s

13/1/21

Vaccine

Fully resource the vaccination programme now

13/1/21

Vaccine

Covid vaccine nationalism threatens pandemic response

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: [email protected]

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999