Monday, 25 November 2013

Gauntlet thrown down for councils implementing Coalition cuts

As local councils across the country devise their budgets for 2014-15, with some such as Brent expecting an even worse outlook for 2015-16, they are faced once again with the extent to which they should do the Coalition's dirty work for them. When is the breaking point when you know that by making cuts you are hurting the most vulnerable and contributing to child poverty and homelessness? Can the mantra that our cuts are somehow more humane than if they were implemented by the opposition or council officers continue to hold water, and more importantly convince those at the receiving end?

It's an issue faced by councils regardless of political complexion and of course include the minority Green adminstration in Brighton.

This weekend the Labour Councillors Against the Cuts issued an updated statement which sets out their position and I wonder if any of our local Brent Labour councillors will get behind it. It would also be worth hearing from  the short-listed candidates for Brent Central for their position on the issue: It will be a live issue at the Green Party Spring Conference in Liverpool in February.

Here is the statement LINK
The cuts that will be demanded of local government over the next 2 years will be “the end of local government as we know it.” says Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council. Sir Merrick Cockell, Tory Chairman of the Local Government Association, reveals that the latest round of budget cuts would lead to some councils going bankrupt. But what do the proposed cuts mean in human terms?
They mean:
  • Misery for the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost or are losing their jobs.
  • Anguish for the elderly, children and their carers, the poor, the undernourished, the educationally deprived who will lose the right to a dignified life.
  • The loss of democratically accountable services run for the public good to private institutions overwhelmingly motivated by profit-making.
We believe that what the government is doing to our communities is immoral. But we cannot denounce their actions without doing our utmost to stop them.
For years councils have claimed that if they didn’t implement cuts then Pickles’ underlings would come in and take control of the council services. But it is compliance with government cuts and the under resourcing of staff in Birmingham that is giving the Tories the excuse to take control of the Council’s child care services.
We do not accept that the local government cuts are necessary. Not in this era of increasing inequalities of wealth, low tax rates on the super-rich and huge profits for the banking sector and their senior staff.
We cannot simply wait for the general election. Implementing cuts will not help Labour beat the Tories. Instead it will make it harder to mobilise working class votes if Labour-led councils are:
  • handing out masses of redundancy notices and
  • cutting services or implementing charges that make it even harder for ordinary people to make ends meet.
We pledge
  • To fight the cuts demanded by the Tories and not just criticise them
  • To campaign alongside unions and the rank and file of local government workers in explaining to the public why these cuts are unjustified and to mobilise in opposition to them.
  • To support local government workers in their fight for jobs and for the protection of local government services.
  • To defend the living standards of working class communities by refusing increased charges or taxes.
  • To refuse to vote for budgets that will lead to an attack on jobs or reduce services.
We call on trade unions and the Labour Party nationally to support both councillors in the council chamber or workers in the workplace that oppose these cuts.
We call on the Labour Party to pledge that if successful at the next general election they will restore local government funding so that councils can do the job that was expected from them – providing care, education, housing, and other services for our people regardless of income and outside the grasping hands of companies driven by profit.


Anonymous said...

Good question, Martin. Are Brent Labour councillors actually 'Labour Councillors Against the Cuts' or simply 'People-Who-Like-Being-Councillors-and-Labour-is-the-Vehicle-for-Achieving-This-Political-and-Social- Advancement'?

Trevor said...

When Will We Start seeing These People for What they Really Are?
anyone that Will give their consent to to the sale of Cigarettes to the public in return for Taxes which is an extreme example of Neglect, Abuse, Exploitation, Greed, Recklessness, Which then goes on to Cause no end of Death each year, as well as spoil the environment and Teach people to abuse their own bodies for the sake of business and Taxes, we cannot expect That government To care about us.
when they have shown just by the legalization of smoking alone what they care about.
they are comparable to those behind that hospital in which many people Died.
We should Trust people that exploit us and manipulate us.
we should only expect what we are getting now in abundance and nothing but that.
also the government are like a cartoon or fairy Tale.