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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 November 2021

Victory! Hackney children's centres saved!

  (Click to enlarge)

The campaign to save Fernbank and Hillside Children's Centres in Hackney, east London, has won.

Hackney Unison, the union representing many of the staff, said:

"This was only achieved by a massive campaign by the parents and staff against these closures and the loss of over 100 children's places and over 30 jobs.

"This is a significant victory, but is only one battle in what may well be a war against other cuts. We do not just want a pause, but a commitment to no closures."

"When asked to send a written apology to all staff for the stress and anxiety caused over the last two months... [the council] refused. This has created widespread mistrust in the council.

"This stress and anxiety will now be transferred to eleven children centres, with a wider review next year. Hackney Unison, along with the parents' campaign, will continue to call for no cuts to take place in children's centres provision. This is a vital and valuable service that is irreplaceable."

Brian Debus, Hackney Unison chair, spoke to the Socialist in a personal capacity. He said:

"It's the view of Hackney Unison that central government cuts to council spending should not be passed on. We acknowledge that the cause of the council to even consider cuts is ten years of Tory government austerity. But we believe there is an alternative.

"This would be to draw up a legal, needs-based budget, bringing in contributions from the local community as to what that should include. If several councils did this, they could then present a united front to this government - stating this is what we need and this what you need to provide.

"If Labour councils don't do this, we will lead a mass campaign, involving all those in the local community, from trade unions to community groups and the wider population. This may require a mass demo of tens of thousands to Downing Street to deliver what we need.

"This victory was on the back of a lively and enthusiastic lobby of the full council in October, including parents, children, staff and trade unionists on the town hall steps. Such was the publicity that the campaign generated, nearly 900 completed consultations were sent in to the council, with the overwhelming majority opposing cuts.

"Alongside the massive public campaign by parents, Hackney Unison was starting to ballot its members at Fernbank and Hillside to take strike action, if the council did not stop these closures.

"In the run up to the local elections in May 2022, Hackney Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has organised a People's Budget meeting for Wednesday 8 December. Natalie Aguilera, one of the parents leading the children's campaign, will speak alongside myself.

"Together with Socialist Party members, who will stand as anti-cuts candidates, we would like to invite campaigners from the local community to also join us to ensure a voice is given to all those fighting against any proposed council cuts.

"Over the last six weeks, staff and parents have bought scores of copies of the Socialist. They have appreciated the coverage the newspaper has given to this campaign."

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In The Socialist 24 November 2021:


News

Workers' action can defeat weak and divided Tories

Working class strangled by price rises and pay cuts

Poorer pensioners fleeced by social care cap

Tories hammer nail in pensions triple lock coffin

HS2 eastern route cancelled: Fight for a workers' plan for public transport

Cricket's history of racism and elitism


NHS

Midwives march against unsafe staffing and for adequate funding

Tories responsible for NHS staff shortages


Violence against women

End sexism and violence against women


Socialism 2021

Socialism 2021: A steely determination to change society

What did you think of Socialism 2021?


Workplace news

Support uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

RMT to strike in London night-tube dispute

Panasonic workers strike against pay freeze

Tesco warehouse workers ballot for strike action

Sage care home workers' pay victory


International news

Historic victory of India's farmers

Sudan: "Hamdok has sold the revolution!"

USA: Right-wing vigilante Rittenhouse acquitted - capitalist courts will not defend the working class!


Working class history

Chartism: The world's first working-class movement


Neurodiversity

The struggle for accessible workplaces and an inclusive society


Obituary

Obituary: Ted Austin (1940-2021) - working-class socialist stalwart


Campaigns

Victory! Hackney children's centres saved!

West Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

Newham: Durning Hall - another shameful act of Labour gentrification

Slough: Adult service cuts will leave vulnerable homeless

Northampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

Selling the Socialist


 

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Related links:

Hackney:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: China - 1928 to the 1949 revolution

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The role of the Socialist paper

triangleLondon couriers take action

triangleHackney children's centres: Campaigners see through council deception

triangleThe fight for Hackney's children's centres continues

Children:

triangleCarlisle says make the richest pay, not the poorest!

triangleHackney children's centres - more education cuts are devastating

triangleHackney: Stop closure of children's centres

triangleSchools funding crisis fails vulnerable children

Council:

triangleNorthampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

triangleSlough: Adult service cuts will leave vulnerable homeless

triangleWest Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

Cuts:

triangleWorking class strangled by price rises and pay cuts

triangleAn appeal to trade union members to stand as anti-cuts candidates

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

24/11/21

Tesco

Tesco warehouse workers ballot for strike action

24/11/21

Higher Education

Support uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

24/11/21

London

RMT to strike in night-tube dispute

24/11/21

Hackney

Victory! Hackney children's centres saved

24/11/21

Socialism 2021

Socialism 2021: A steely determination to change society

24/11/21

Socialist

Selling the Socialist

24/11/21

Cuts

Northampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

24/11/21

Cuts

Slough: Adult service cuts will leave vulnerable homeless

24/11/21

Newham

Newham: Durning Hall - another shameful act of Labour gentrification

24/11/21

Council

West Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

24/11/21

Pay

Sage care home workers' pay victory

24/11/21

Pay

Panasonic workers strike against pay freeze

24/11/21

Midwives

Midwives march against unsafe staffing and for adequate funding

17/11/21

Birmingham

Birmingham People's Budget

17/11/21

South Wales

Stagecoach drivers win 10.50 an hour

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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