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14 March 2018

Swansea Labour council votes for cuts

Alec Thraves, Socialist Party Wales

Swansea's Labour-controlled council has passed a 28 million cuts budget for 2018-19, as well as voting through projected cuts of a further 70 million over the next three years.

During the ten-minute session allowed for public questions Socialist Party members highlighted that these medium term financial plans included some departments having their budgets cut by 50%!

Colin John, a veteran trade unionist and Socialist Party member, castigated the Labour councillors for being responsible for sacking teachers, bringing in charges for day centres and attacking the elderly of Swansea.

Swansea Socialist Party members, along with the trades council, Swansea Unison, education and other trade union members lobbied the council beforehand, with many Labour councillors sneaking in through the side entrances to avoid the protest.

A Swansea County Unison branch rep at the protest demanded that the council implement Unison, Unite, GMB and Wales TUC policy to refuse to make any cuts and set a legal no-cuts budget.

As in previous years, this demand fell on deaf ears with every Labour councillor voting to implement savage Tory cuts once more.

With the prospect of every part of our council services facing devastating cuts and outsourcing over the next few years this is only the beginning of resistance by unions and residents against the Tory austerity big-butchers in Westminster and their obedient mini-butchers on Swansea Labour council. As Arnie once said: 'We'll be back'!