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From: The Socialist issue 1036, 3 April 2019: Cuts and chaos. Enough. General election now!

Search site for keywords: Leicester - Socialist - Council - Candidates - Cuts - Socialist Party - Councillors

Devastating 62% cuts in Leicester

Vote for socialist mayor and council candidates

Socialist Party mayoral candudare Steve Score speaking at the demo to save Grantham A&E, photo East Midlands Socialist Party

Socialist Party mayoral candudare Steve Score speaking at the demo to save Grantham A&E, photo East Midlands Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Score, former chair Save Glenfield Children's Heart Centre and Leicester Socialist Party mayoral candidate

In Leicester, spending on all council services, excluding social care, has been slashed by no less than 62% in ten years. This has had a devastating effect.

Cuts have particularly hit the most vulnerable. When homelessness has been rocketing, hostels and homelessness services have been cut and council house building has been almost non-existent.

When there has been a dramatic rise in people being forced to go to foodbanks, often because of cuts in benefits, welfare rights services are being cut. Cuts have been made to youth services, children's centres, voluntary services, libraries, community centres and many other services.

At the same time, the mayor has money to hand over £10 million to Travelodge - which has recently announced profits of £122 million - to build another new hotel in the city centre!

The council has had a vindictive approach to the voluntary sector. The Socialist Party was contacted by one mental health support organisation whose previously peppercorn rent has been hoisted from £1 a year to £10,000 a year!

Labour in Leicester has an all-powerful elected city mayor and every council seat bar one Tory and one Lib Dem. Socialist Party branches in Leicester decided we had to challenge those councillors who were doing the Tories' dirty work. So we are standing against the mayor and in ten selected seats.

The mayor takes home over £70,000 a year. Elected public representatives should not be cut off from the living standards of the people they are meant to represent.

If elected, I pledge to only take the average wage of a skilled worker in Leicester, donating the majority of the rest of the salary to the fightback against austerity and capitalism.

We are standing on a platform of using the more than £100 million in useable reserves and borrowing power to set a no-cuts budget.

This could create time to build a mass campaign to force the money needed from the government. We have recent experience of how a campaign that involves trades unions and thousands of local people can win.

Socialist Party members played a prominent role in the Save Glenfield Children's Heart Centre campaign which was victorious in reversing NHS England's decision. We could do the same with council services!

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Article dated 3 April 2019

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