Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/768/16847
Standing for TUSC in Woolston, Southampton
Socialist and campaigner Sue Atkins explains why she is standing for TUSC in the Southampton Woolston ward byelection on 13 June. Sue has the support of rebel councillors Don Thomas and Keith Morrell who have been expelled from Labour for voting against cuts!
The Tories, Lib Dems and Labour are all signed up to making the working class pay for the crimes of the bankers and the political establishment.
I want to join like-minded people on the council, such as anti-cuts councillors, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, who put principles first, rather than lining their own pockets.
In the face of Con-Dem cuts, people in Woolston are increasingly unhappy with the way local Labour councillors have voted through cuts to Sure Start, local libraries and the Woolston Youth Centre.
As well as having a hard-working local councillor, electing a third anti-cuts councillor in Southampton would send a powerful message to the political establishment in Southampton: 'It doesn't have to be like this - there is a choice - enough is enough.'
The bedroom tax will hit many Woolston ward residents. We have met many people worried about how it will affect them.
Last month the two Coxford ward rebel councillors proposed that the council remove the threat of eviction if a tenant falls into arrears because they are unable to pay the bedroom tax increase in their rent.
With a large majority, you would think Labour councillors would have backed their verbal opposition to the Bedroom Tax with decisive action to end the financial stress and anxiety many families currently face, yet they voted with the Tories and Lib Dems to oppose the motion.
If elected, I will play my part in the campaign to force the government to repeal this spiteful tax on those least able to afford it.
This year's council budget saw £1 million axed from the Sure Start programme across Southampton. Parents are furious about the cuts to these services, where staff have been cut along with money for children's trips.
Woolston library has had its opening hours cut by one day a week. The Save Southampton Youth Services campaign fought hard to stop the closure of the local youth centre in Woolston.
While a reprieve for a year has been won, its sessions have been cut from three to one a week.
How many of these services will disappear next year unless Labour councillors stand up and refuse to implement the Con-Dem cuts?
On the day after this byelection, Labour will still have a majority whatever the result. What is the point of electing one more Labour councillor who will put their hand up for Con-Dem cuts? Every vote we receive will be a powerful message to Labour councillors, 'Stand up and fight the cuts, or step aside for those who will!'
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance that stands candidates against all cuts and privatisation.
It involves the RMT transport workers' union, leading members of other trade unions including the PCS, NUT and POA and socialist groups including the Socialist Party.
In The Socialist 5 June 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns