Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10250
Coventry: Save the 'one stop'
Photo Coventry Socialist Party
A 30 strong crowd of determined residents from the Stoke Aldermoor estate in Coventry braved the wind and rain on Tuesday 14 September to lobby the city council meeting to save their local council neighbourhood management 'one stop' service office.
Lenny Shail, Coventry Socialist Party
It is one of five around the city that are in for the chop, that provide vital advice, support and services.
One resident said, waving a placard made by teenagers at the youth centre on the estate that is also under threat from cuts: "The area is becoming like an isolated island, everything keeps disappearing".
The small 'desert' that surrounds the estate, a former car factory, is a sad symbol of the years of clobbering done to Coventry's manufacturing base by the Tories, Labour and big business.
Socialist Pary councillor Dave Neillist joins Stoke Aldermoor residents to lobby Coventry council to save their local council neighbourhood management one stop service office., photo Coventry Socialist Party
Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist addressed the crowd, pointing out that although the cuts can be traced back to the Tory government, the Labour council should not be carrying them out.
"The council should use its £42 million of reserves to keep this service running whilst fighting for a reversal of any grant cuts and more funds from government.
This Labour council is either with us or against us''. Labour councillors may lament the 'nasty Tory cuts' that they 'wish they didn't have to make', but last month they all voted for £4.5 million of cuts this year, the start of £146 million over the next four years.
Councillor Dave Nellist was the only opposition.
And as the council's Labour leader, John Mutton, remarked on how 'proud' he was of the attacks set to be unleashed, and Labour's cabinet member responsible for the closure of five community offices said of the closures "I'm not going to keep chucking money down a drain", it's hard to take any of Labour's anti-cuts claims seriously.
The people of Coventry should not have to pay the price in cuts, services and jobs for the bankers and their gambling.
These cuts are part of a wholesale attack on the living standards of ordinary working people. We need an opposition movement as big as the one that brought down Thatcher's poll tax. In Coventry and every town and city across the country, ordinary people did it then, we can do it again now.