Some positive steps are being taken in the battle against local authority cuts. In Harrow, the Council and Harrow Observer are combining in a campaign for increased funding which I support, but I am concerned that the campaign may be interpreted as suggesting that Brent is over-funded LINK.
Local authorities ALL need to be adequately funded in order to provide vital services.
The campaign Councillors Against the Cuts LINK has been set up to urge councils to refuse to implement cuts and organise resistance against the Coalition;s austerity agenda. Recently there has been in increase in the number of councillors signing up to the campaign.
Their founding statement includes the following paragraphs:
I understand that some Green councillors are signing up to the campaign nd a Green Councillors Against the Cuts Facebook page has been set up LINKWe stand in solidarity with anti-cuts campaigns, with people defending their local services and with the broader community, tenants and residents, our children, disabled people, pensioners etc – in defence of the living standards and rights of the most vulnerable people in society as the Coalition government attacks them.Most of us are Labour councillors and our campaign is sponsored by the Labour Representation Committee, but we are open to all left and labour movement councillors willing to pledge to vote against/refuse to implement cuts.
Whether you are a councillor, local government worker, other trade unionist, anti-cuts campaigner, community activist or Labour Party activist – get involved!
The Coalition of Resistance, chaired by leading Green Party member Romayne Phoenix, has issued this statement of support:
The Coalition of Resistance congratulates all the councillors who have launched “Councillors Against the Cuts”. This new front in the resistance against austerity is to be welcomed by all those committed to defending public services and jobs and the welfare state.
The Coalition of Resistance supports you in your pledge to “vote against all cuts to services and jobs, increases in rents and charges, and increases in council tax”. This determined stand will encourage trade unions and their members, community organisations and anti-cuts groups to campaign and take the actions necessary to roll back the attacks from the ConDem Coalition Government.It would be wonderful if some of our councillors in Brent threw away their dented shields, recognise that they cannot carry on making the cuts demanded by the Coalition, and make a stand with the resistance.
We hope that many more councillors will join you in your stand in the run-up to the formalities of setting a budget. Local authority finance is now so tightly controlled by central government, there is little credibility in the idea that it is possible to set a budget which protects local people from the worst effects of the cuts.
Your declaration to vote against all cuts is therefore important to demonstrate that there is an alternative to administering austerity. The Coalition of Resistance pledges its support to all of you, and to work together to defend the welfare state and fight for an alternative based on meeting the needs of ordinary people, not those of the banks and big business. We invite you to join us in making the People’s Assembly against Austerity in June the springboard for a broad movement that will inflict defeats on this government.
Romayne Phoenix, Chair CoR
Sam Fairbairn, Secretary CoR