Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/773/17075
Rebel councillor faces further suspension
Hugh Caffrey, Socialist Party north-west regional organiser
'Rebel' anti-cuts Labour councillor Kevin Bennett in Warrington has been suspended from the Labour group for a further six months.
Kevin was suspended three months ago after voting against Warrington Labour council's cuts budget this spring.
Years of harassment and bullying of Kevin by the Labour councillors group culminated in them refusing to even listen to Kevin's carefully costed proposals for avoiding cuts in Warrington this year through a combination of sensible borrowing and using reserves. Instead the council voted through the cuts and suspended Kevin shortly afterwards. The original suspension was "indefinite", but with the right to re-apply to rejoin the Labour group after six months.
On appeal last week, Kevin was in effect handed an extra three months of suspension, as the appeal panel ruled Kevin be suspended for six months from the date of the appeal.
Rule-breaking seems rife in Warrington Labour. For instance news of Kevin's impending suspension was shared with a Tory councillor before it had even happened! Kevin is backed by his union, Unite, and it seems possible that Kevin is being punished for the current row between Unite and New Labour.
Kevin remains a councillor, though suspended from membership of the Labour group. He is determined to continue serving the people of his ward as a councillor, to help organise Warrington Against Cuts, and to vote against cuts in the council chamber.
- Warrington Against Cuts and Warrington Socialist Party campaign stalls - Sunday 14 July, 12-2pm, at the fountain outside Golden Square shopping centre, Warrington town centre.
- North Cheshire Socialist Party meeting - Wednesday 17 July, 7pm, The Rendezvous, 125 Church Street, St Helens WA10 1AJ
In The Socialist 10 July 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party review