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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2011

Mansfield - build houses, create jobs

Becci Heagney, Youth Fight for Jobs East Midlands organiser

2,000 young people in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire can't find work. Over 9,000 people in Mansfield are on the council housing waiting list. So why have building workers been thrown on the dole and work abandoned on 87 new flats and four houses?

For 100 years the ShoeCo site in the town centre made shoes and boots, at one time employing 1,000 people. It closed in 2004 and redevelopment was announced in 2006 "as part of a multi-million pound scheme to revamp Mansfield".

Five years later, the part-built flats are a symbol of a failed capitalist system. Last month work stopped when the developer went bust. Most of the external work is completed, although a supplier has repossessed some windows. Months of work are still needed for electricians, plumbers, joiners, plasterers and painters. This work could include proper training for young people, under trade union supervision.

But the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) refused the developer a new loan because the bankers have no confidence that the flats will be sold at a profit.

Yet in neighbouring streets there are hundreds of old terraced houses, many in need of modernisation and repair that private landlords refuse to carry out. Many people would jump at the chance of moving into a new flat.

RBS paid out almost 1 billion in bonuses last year and is paying another 500 million this year. Its chief executive is 'rewarded' with 6.8 million a year. RBS is 84% state-owned, after 20 billion of taxpayers' money was used to stop it collapsing in 2008.

East Midlands Youth Fights for Jobs members who took part in the Jarrow March for Jobs have organised a protest demanding Mansfield district council take over the ShoeCo site and finish the work. The new homes should be kept in public ownership and let at affordable rents, instead of being sold to private landlords.

With public service workers joining building workers on the dole queues, it's clear that fewer people will get mortgages to buy new flats! All cuts in public services must be reversed. It's bailouts for bankers and dole for workers. Why should we pay for a crisis caused by big business?

Join the protest:

Jobs and homes - not cuts

Saturday 26 November, 11am
Mansfield Market Place
Marching to ShoeCo building site

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In The Socialist 23 November 2011:

Pensions' strike, N30

Enough is enough! Make N30 the start of a fight to stop all cuts

Reasons to be on strike

Socialist Party feature

Capitalism is crisis - there is an alternative - fight for socialism!

Socialist Party news and analysis

Con-Dems worsen the housing crisis

Massive job cuts undermining NHS

Millions unemployed - workers and students must unite and fight!

Them & Us

The Socialist - Readers' comments

Tragic effect of recession

Why I became a socialist

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jarrow marchers put forward an alternative

No answers from politicians on Newsnight

Save Coventry Sure Start

Update: Occupy

Support the anti-cuts election challenge

State intimidation of young protesters

Tories and Labour fail to give 'Any Answers'

Women: sick of sexism, discrimination and cuts?

Mansfield - build houses, create jobs

Pensions protest in Maude's constituency

International socialist news and analysis

Why Europe's capitalist leaders cannot save the floundering eurozone project

Ruling PSOE battered in Spanish general election

Syria: Eight months of mass protests met with bloody brutality

Egyptian masses fight for real change

Socialist Party workplace news

Greece and Italy get unelected technocrats - Southampton gets chief executives!

Construction workers fight pay cuts

Fire service cuts

Bus drivers strike over pay

Workplace In brief


Obituary - Geoff Atkins


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