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Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/11979

Posted on 9 May 2011 at 17:05 GMT

Salford TUSC challenged Labour in one of its heartlands

George Tapp, electrician, Unite union member and Socialist Party member, stood for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Salford's Ordsall ward on 5th May and won 381 votes, 16%, coming second only to Labour.

We had to wait until 3.30am during the election night for our result but it was worth it - we beat both government coalition parties!

Our Tory opponent works in recruitment to the construction industry and not surprisingly is unemployed, but he still likes George Osborne. We beat him by 42 votes.

The Lib Dem, whose memorable name - Kate Middleton - didn't save her from the fate of Lib Dems everywhere, was 101 votes behind us. We canvassed the whole of the council estate which forms the core of the ward and met the anger, bitterness and frustration felt by working people.

In doing so we found some of the hidden cuts made by the Labour council: cleaners' and care workers' hours cut to below survival levels, a reduction by 50% in security guard cover in the tower blocks.

We are determined to take up these issues through 'Salford against Cuts' after the election.

Before the election the Ordsall library was due to be moved and shoe-horned into a leisure centre.

With a community protest and an anti-cuts candidate standing, Labour withdrew its proposal in the middle of the campaign and claimed to have 'saved' the library! Who from, if not from themselves?

At the vote count Labour MP Hazel Blears was overheard saying that TUSC locally has some serious activists. Praise indeed! Labour have had their wake-up call - next year, when they have made even more cuts, we'll be challenging them again.

Paul Gerrard, TUSC election agent, Ordsall ward

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