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Fighting to save our services
Anti-cuts campaign reports
Sixty people, mainly local government workers in the Unite union, gathered at Greenwich town hall in Woolwich on Tuesday 21 September to protest at the council's plan to make £70 million worth of cuts to jobs and services.
The protest was called by Greenwich Save Our Services, a campaign launched by Socialist Party members which has the support of workers who are members of the Unite, Unison, NUT and CWU unions.
The council is notoriously secretive about its plans, wanting to head off resistance from workers and service users.
But it is already known that it plans to cut 40% of the grant that goes to voluntary sector organisations, as well as closing all the libraries in the borough and replacing them with one library in the new council building being built in Woolwich.
The next Greenwich SOS meeting will take place on 5 October.
Paul Callanan Greenwich Socialist Party
On 23 September 60 people, including many trade unionists, packed out a meeting sponsored by the RMT union and organised by the Reading Shop Stewards Network to launch an anti-cuts campaign in the Berkshire town.
Speakers included RMT and NUT members and a nurse in Unison. 600 job losses have been announced at the Royal Berkshire hospital. Fears were expressed about structure 'reshaping' at the local university. The meeting also discussed how the government's "big society" initiatives, such as GP commissioning in health care, were going to affect local services.
A mother said she had never attended "anything like this before" but had a disabled child and felt very strongly that she should express her support for defending what little support she currently receives.
The meeting agreed to lobby Reading borough council's cabinet and to support any section of workers in the community facing cuts.
Sara Gillman Reading Socialist Party
The inaugural meeting of East Bristol Against the Cuts was held in Fishponds, Bristol, on Tuesday 21 September. The meeting was organised by members of the Socialist Party as part of the Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance and was attended by around 30 people.
John McInally, vice-president of the PCS civil service union, speaking in a personal capacity, opened the meeting by talking about the barbaric and economically reckless nature of the Con-Dem cuts.
A Youth Fight For Jobs speaker spoke about the lost generation of young people, unable to get into university, unable to get a job, and now increasingly unable to even get basic benefits.
A day of action on 2 October was called, to be followed by a rally on 23 October.
Matt Gordon Bristol Socialist Party
One hundred and fifty people, including Turkish and Kurdish community organisations, trade unions and campaigning groups, attended the public launch meeting of the Hackney Alliance to Defend Public Services which took place on 21 September.
HATDPS will be organising a lobby of the first council meeting after the comprehensive spending review on 27 October to demand that the council refuses to implement any cuts to jobs and services.
Suzanne Beishon London Socialist Party
Cardiff trades union council launched a Cardiff Against Cuts campaign on Thursday 23 September to resist the avalanche of cuts promised by the Con-Dem government.
Gary Watkins, regional secretary of the Communication Workers Union, explained the threat of privatisation to Royal Mail by the Con-Dems, promising a campaign in Wales to put pressure on the government.
Greg Harrison, secretary of the RMT union branch at Cardiff Rail, warned that threatened rail maintenance cuts will put lives at risk.
Contributions from council, health, Companies House and Ministry of Justice workers, and campaigners in defence of the Welsh language S4C television channel, showed the scale of cuts even before the government's comprehensive spending review slashes 25% from most government departments.
Dave Reid Socialist Party Wales
In The Socialist 29 September 2010:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party feature