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Southampton by-election: Socialist Party no-cuts stand finds doorstep support
Vote Sue Atkins in Coxford to continue Keith Morrell's anti-cuts struggle
Jane Ward, Southampton Socialist Party
It has been a busy week campaigning in Coxford ward in Southampton. Workers and residents need a councillor who will continue former councillor Keith Morrell's anti-cuts stand in the 14 March by-election.
Many have been saddened to hear of Keith's resignation. He and fellow independent anti-cuts councillor Don Thomas are held in high regard by many of their constituents.
They have addressed and solved many problems for local residents. They have repeatedly shown that if you fight, you can win.
They have worked with campaigning groups to save local amenities and services such as Oaklands swimming pool, Lordshill library and Coxford bus routes which were all under threat.
On the doorstep we have been promoting the anti-cuts candidate, Socialist Party member Sue Atkins. There are many people we have spoken to this week who are completely disillusioned by both the main parties.
They can see little difference between them as they are both wielding the axe against jobs and services. As one man said to me: "We are being charged more council tax but seeing everything cut."
We have had a very positive response from a lot of people, particularly those who supported Keith and Don. They are pleased to see that in Sue they have a candidate who will carry on the anti-cuts work started by Keith and Don.
Sue is involved in local campaigns, such as fair funding for schools, and saving the last two council-run care homes in Southampton. Like Keith and Don, she has fought for the council to set a legal no-cuts budget and build a union-led fightback to demand the return of funding stolen by the government.
It is by meeting people on the doorstep that we have been able to make them aware of Sue's campaign and increase her promised vote. For me, it has underlined the importance and effectiveness of the Socialist Party's canvassing work during this by-election.
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