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Posted on 4 February 2013 at 16:27 GMT

Derby Labour councillors 'oppose' cuts - then vote for them

Derby has seen an example of politicians not keeping their word this week. After taking control of Derby City Council last May by promising to defend youth services and council housing, the Labour Party councillors have now voted for 63 million worth of cuts.

This massive cuts package includes closing the main youth advice service and a huge 83% reduction in the Supporting People budget, which provides housing support.

With no sense of irony, the Labour councillors organised an anti-cuts lobby prior to the council budget-setting meeting and then went in to carry out massive attacks on working class people in the city.

The leader of the council, Paul Bayliss, spoke at the rally and outlined the effect that austerity is having on ordinary people.

In response to calls from workers and service users not to implement cuts, he replied that there was nothing that they could do.

He told us he has launched a campaign called a 'Fair Deal for Derby' - basically calling for 'fair cuts'. There is no such thing!

Only Socialist Party opposed

Unfortunately, the councillors were supported by Derby trades council, including members of the Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party, who maintained that the councillors have no choice but to do what the government tells them.

Socialist Party members attended the protest but with leaflets calling on the council to make a stand against the Con-Dem government.

We recognise that the government is making savage cuts to local government budgets, for example to council tax benefit, but we also recognise that unless Labour refuses to pass these cuts on, they are doing the Tories' 'dirty work'.

We highlighted the heroic stand taken by councils such as Clay Cross in 1972 and Liverpool in the 1980s, who refused to implement attacks on the working class, to show that Labour do have a choice.

Becci Heagney

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 4 February 2013 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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