Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

Local services

spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

* Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Local services


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1073, 12 February 2020: NHS: Fight for full funding!

Search site for keywords: Cuts - Tory - Labour - Council - Government

Lobby of parliament. 19.12.19

Lobby of parliament. 19.12.19   (Click to enlarge)

How to resist Tory attacks on local communities

Alistair Tice, Socialist Party national committee

One of the reasons why Labour lost seats in the North and Midlands in the general election was because Labour councils have carried out ten years of Tory government cuts. People's experience of Labour council cuts gave them no confidence that a Labour government would actually carry out its anti-austerity manifesto.

Now those same Labour council leaders are lining up to blame Jeremy Corbyn and the manifesto for the election defeat (see 'Cuts councillors are the real problem'). Julie Dore, Sheffield council leader, who has presided over 480 million cuts, said "I do not want a Corbyn-continuity candidate". 30 out of 33 council leaders have said that the party would be "finished" in their areas if Rebecca Long-Bailey became leader.

So it's welcome that Long-Bailey, writing for Labour List, stated "As Labour leader, I will work with Labour councillors to fight the Tories every step of the way" and "hold the government to account and resist their attacks on our communities." But, unfortunately, she doesn't say how that can be done.

She says "I want to use community organising and campaigning in partnership with our local councillors." To achieve what? To "get more Labour councillors elected." But to do what? Get even more Labour councillors to just carry out the Tory cuts for the next five years?

Because for all Boris Johnson's populist rhetoric about 'levelling up' and the 'end of austerity' it's clear that the savage cuts in government funding of local authorities will continue. In fact, it's going to get worse.

The Tories' (un) Fair Funding review proposes that a further 320 million a year could be shifted out of councils in England's most deprived areas while Tory-controlled shire councils will gain 300 million. Former Labour constituencies that the Tories won in the so-called 'Red Wall' such as Workington, Sedgefield, Stoke, Redcar, West Bromwich, Bishop Auckland, Grimsby and Leigh all stand to lose millions on top of the funding already slashed by the Tories.

Bradford council Unite members striking against cuts, photo Iain Dalton

Bradford council Unite members striking against cuts, October 2019, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

This 'unfairness' has even caused Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, who has presided over 436 million cuts over the last ten years, to finally say "enough is enough". He says, "I will refuse to make any more cuts to our budget" (apart from the 30 million already planned for the 2020-21 financial year!). But when questioned whether he would be "doing a Derek Hatton" meaning defying the government like the Militant-led Liverpool council did in the 1980s, he said he wouldn't.

But the 1980s Liverpool road, as advocated by the Socialist Party, of Labour councils setting no-cuts budgets while building a mass campaign among council workers and local communities to fight for 'fair funding', is the only way that the Tory cuts can be defeated.

The policies that the Socialist Party has campaigned for, using reserves and borrowing powers to legally 'balance' a no-cuts budget, are now being used by Labour councils - not to fight the cuts and demand more money from the Tory government but to balance budgets that actually carry out cuts!

In this year's annual State of Local Government Finance report, 57% of council leaders said they will be using reserves, 75% will be increasing their borrowing.

If Rebecca Long-Bailey is serious about leading councils' resistance to Tory cuts, she must herald the achievements of the 1983-87 Liverpool council - 2,000 new jobs, 5,000 new council houses, six new nurseries, five new sports centres and three new parks, to name just some of them.

She must instruct Labour councils to adopt a fighting strategy of building mass support for a needs-based budget and demanding the government pays back the millions it has robbed from local councils - the strategy that won those gains in Liverpool

Otherwise, all her talk will be just that, while Blairite council leaders continue to carry out the Tories' cuts.


Join our Budget Day Protest

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Local services keywords:

Care Homes (43)

Closures (164)

Cuts (3506)

Disability (104)

Fire (292)

Fire service (71)

Huddersfield (234)

Libraries (95)

Library (123)

Nursery (38)

Probation (51)

Water (129)

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Article dated 12 February 2020

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle13 Apr Bristol North Socialist Party: The role of the state and the police

triangle14 Apr Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Lessons of the 1921 Poplar councillors' struggle

triangle15 Apr Waltham Forest Socialist Party: Lessons of the Paris Commune for today

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

News

Schools

Protests

Local elections

Workplace news

Childcare

Liverpool

Brixton riots

International news

Readers' opinion

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1128 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


Sparks protest in Cardiff

Sparks' protest in Cardiff; each week the protest has grown. Sparks are protesting nationally against the role of construction electricians being deskilled. Photo by Rachel Barwell

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version