We issue a new statement below in the lead up to the 2014 budget discussion calling for a refusal by Labour councils to implement cuts. Printable statement from this link
If you are a councillor elected on a Labour ticket, please give it your support.
If you are a Labour Party, trade union or other anti-cuts activist please challenge your local councillors to sign and add your support this statement (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
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?
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.
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.
Cllr Kevin Bennett, Warrington Council Cllr Greg Marshall, Broxtowe Borough Council Cllr Gill Kennett, Hull City Council Cllr George Barratt, Barking and Dagenham Council Cllr Waida Forman, Harlow District Council