Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cuts - acting locally, thinking globally?


It's a busy night for council budget setting meetings tomorrow, as local authorities of all political complexions push through multi-million pound cuts packages under orders from the Tory-led Coalition Government to slash public services to pay for a crisis caused by the bankers (and their economic system):

Newham Stop the Cuts campaign march
Monday 28th February 2011
5:00pm to 7:30pm

No to ConDem Cuts in Camden
Monday 28th February 2011
5:30pm to 7:30pm

Lobby Croydon Council - Stop the Cuts
Monday 28th February 2011
5:30pm to 7:30pm

Brent Fightback! Lobby Brent Council
Monday 28th February 2011
6:00pm to 8:00pm

A hat tip to the Labour Representation Committee for collating and disseminating this information – the LRC leaflet on what Councillors should do is available online - http://www.l-r-c.org.uk/files/Councilcutsflyer_Feb11.pdf
Our next step in every London Borough following these budget settings must be to maximise turnout on 26 March, whilst simultaneously rolling our sleeves up in our UNISON branches and getting to grips with the details of truly horrendous cuts proposals in order to limit the damage as best we can.
The need of an effective national fight against the Government from the trade union movement is ever more pressing.

2 comments:

Emma said...

I think the LRC leaflet (which bears more than a passing resemblance to advice I have read on this blog) is very good and certainly much better than the official party advice to councillors (which is just to blame the government as you make the cuts).

Can I add a little more specific advice? As a minimum, I think we would expect Labour Councils not to be adding to their reserves. I would go so far as to suggest that Labour Councils should be using some of their reserves in the coming year, given that the government cuts are front-loaded.

Also, I doubt we would approve of Councils using money available to them to reduce their borrowing when that money could be used on maintaining expenditure a little closer to its previous rate.

Maybe that's too meek and centrist for the LRC. ;-)

Jon Rogers said...

I completely agree Emma - and would add that union negotiators should remember that budget decisions are not sacrosanct and that we can - and must - go on arguing for money to be taken from reserves to mitigate cuts.