Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/755/16276
Hull, Warrington, Bristol and Bradford
Note: the full versions of these reports can be read on the Socialist Party website
Three Hull councillors remain defiant against Labour budget
Phil Culshaw, Hull Unison steward (personal capacity)
Three Hull councillors, Gary Wareing, Dean Kirk and Gill Kennett, broke the Labour whip and voted against council budget cuts on Thursday 28 February.
They were supported by 400 people who lobbied the city council's budget-setting meeting.
Anger in the public gallery erupted with the announcement of the budget that includes 600 job cuts.
Craig Moody, a youth centre volunteer, said: "There's going to be a 10% cut to the youth service, how can they justify that when there is growing demand on the service due to unemployment and homelessness?"
Amaya Orton explained that: "It affects my 98 year old mother who has dementia and will have to live without daycare services because they're not value for money. They shouldn't be making a profit out of the elderly and vulnerable."
The three rebel councillors received a standing ovation at the Unison Recreational Centre after the council meeting.
Rebel councillor Gary said: "What we saw were Labour councillors saying how sorry they were for making the cuts, but we set down a marker -there is an alternative.
"We need to fight the cuts as they take effect over the year, linking with the trade unions and community groups, we can make a real difference."
A Warrington Labour councillor, Kevin Bennett, voted against his party's £14 million cuts on 5 March.
He told the council budget setting meeting: "Enough is enough, this administration is acting as agents of the coalition."
The rest of the Labour councillors voted the cuts through. Please send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
Respect and Greens fail to fight cuts
The opposition to £35 million of cuts in Bristol took on a vocal and vibrant expression when 70 people turned out to lobby the council and George Ferguson, the city's 'independent' mayor.
Banners and flags from all of the local authority trade unions, the Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance and the Disability Equality Forum represented the broad spectrum of opposition to these attacks.
Unfortunately the mood of protesters found no echo in the council chamber. The mayor and Tory, Lib Dem, Labour and Green councillors all said they hated cuts, but were voting for cuts.
Labour, the only party not to have joined the mayor's cabinet, abstained.
Mayor Ferguson said he'd lost sleep thinking about the impact of these cuts but as a millionaire businessman he's unlikely to feel the impact.
The 330 council workers due to lose their jobs will though, along with users of children's centres and countless others.
On Wednesday 27 February, Bradford council voted though £82 million of cuts and a 1.99% increase in council tax.
The cuts were proposed by the Labour group of 44 councillors, but they were voted though with the help of the three Green councillors and half of the Lib Dems to gain a majority in the 90-seat council.
Those expecting a valiant anti-cuts stance from the five Respect councillors were sorely disappointed.
Only three turned up and, instead of voting against cuts and putting forward an alternative budget, abstained.
In The Socialist 7 March 2013:
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