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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 January 2022

Newham council rejects using 0.03% of reserves to fund arts

Campaigning to save Newham's Stratford Circus in October. Photo: Mary Finch

Campaigning to save Newham's Stratford Circus in October. Photo: Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

James Ivens, Equity, North and East London general branch

I was part of the deputation from the North and East London branch of performing arts union Equity to a Newham Council cabinet meeting. Sadly, Labour mayor Rokhsana Fiaz refused to respond to our proposal for further discussion on arts funding at the former Stratford Circus arts centre.

We again made several clear proposals:

They ignored them all.

The council say that Newham only has £9 million in reserves. The union is calling for at least £190,000 for the arts centre. Even if Newham really only had £9 million, that could satisfy our starting proposal for 47 years!

The truth is that Newham has £616 million in usable reserves, but has chosen to allocate only £9 million of that into its 'general fund'. By changing the way other sections of reserves are 'earmarked', the council could invest that and more in the arts for several centuries!

But we're not saying spend reserves and that's that. Cabinet members asked why we were not campaigning for central government to give Newham more money? We are!

Our proposal is that Newham spends (at least) 0.03% of its reserves, and sends the bill to Westminster. Pass the crisis up to the Tory government, not down to trade union members and the working class.

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In The Socialist 19 January 2022:


What we think

Tories on the ropes


News

Want to fight austerity?

No trust in Tories to keep us safe

Tories hand cash to private health profiteers

Tory vaccine sacking threat set to deepen NHS staffing crisis

Employers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay

News in brief


International news

Murder of Ashling Murphy sends shocks waves across Ireland and beyond

Northern Ireland: Workers fight threatened closure of women's hostel

US: Independent Socialist Group launches new paper

Eyewitness account of workers' uprising in Almaty, Kazakhstan


Public services

Mutual aid, the welfare state and the fight for a new mass workers' party


Marxist classics

Why are things the way they are?


Rob Windsor

Rob Windsor - remembering a tireless fighter for socialism


Theatre

Theatre: Yes Yes UCS


Workplace news

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S Yorks Stagecoach strike results in "huge pay win"

Scunthorpe scaffs resume indefinite strike action

Coventry bin strike continues

Bus driver Tracey Scholes reinstated at Go North West

Royal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload

Newham college strike solid against bully privatisers

Somers Forge workers continue pay strike

Workplace news in brief


Campaigns

NUS walkout: Organise to fight for free education on 2 March

Demonstrating against the Tory anti-protest bill

Waltham Forest: Campaign unites families facing eviction

Newham council rejects using 0.03% of reserves to fund arts

Birmingham: Cuts consultations replaced by computer game

Southampton uni ignores staff and students in exam farce

Oliver Campbell - 31 years fighting for justice

Bournemouth - angry people not represented by capitalist parties

Pauline Wall memorial meeting


 

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Related links:

Arts:

triangleStop the cuts to Uni arts funding

triangleTories threaten arts students: we are prepared to fight back!

triangleBiggest protest yet to save Stratford Circus

triangleMarch to save Stratford arts jobs from Newham Labour attacks

triangleEquity protest to save arts centre forces talks from Newham Council

Newham:

triangleNewham City Farm - closed with no consultation

triangleVictory at NewVIc college! 'The picket line gives us power'

triangleNewham college strike solid against bully privatisers

triangleTrinity Centre: Shameful eviction by Newham council

Council:

triangleBrighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back

triangleRestore Cardiff's slashed services

triangleCoventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council

Union:

triangleThe Erdington byelection and the fight for a new mass workers' party

triangleJust Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut

Equity:

triangleSave Newham's theatres from Labour council cuts!

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