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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 November 2017

Southampton: Corbynista success but cuts continue

Jeremy Corbyn rally in Islington, June 2017, photo Paul Mattsson

Jeremy Corbyn rally in Islington, June 2017, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Southampton Labour Party member

On the same day that shadow chancellor John McDonnell outlined his alternative to the budget, which included among other things the reinstatement of local authority funding, Southampton Labour Party held its annual general meeting (AGM) on 16 November.

The question was asked of the council leader Simon Letts: "Will you therefore use some of your 80 million in reserves to save schools from cutbacks?" Simon said he would spend money only when McDonnell's 'cheque has cleared'. While Letts is waiting for the cheque to clear, teaching assistants are losing their jobs, parents are being asked to subsidise their children's education and subjects are being stripped from the curriculum!

In his report the council leader gave an overview of his time in office and recounted the 120 million worth of cuts that Labour has made on behalf of the Tories in Southampton.

He then proceeded to appeal to the meeting to "trust me" on the planned closure of Kentish Road respite centre. I prefer to trust the service users and their families who have been heroically campaigning to save their vital service from closure.

Jeremy Corbyn's manifesto needs to be made a material reality to save us from the onslaught of austerity. Every service closure and every job loss delivered by Labour councils makes that less likely to happen.

The Corbynistas won an overwhelming majority at the AGM. But it will all be for nothing unless they can force the council to be anti-austerity in actions and not just words. That is the only way to give working class people trust in Labour.

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In The Socialist 22 November 2017:


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Related links:

Southampton:

triangleSocialist Students day of action demands free education

triangleStrikers picket the South Western Railway network

triangleTeachers, students and parents demand an end to the schools funding crisis

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

triangleFawley refinery canteen strikers tell their employer: "pay up"

Cuts:

triangleBradford campaign to save children's services launched

triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

Labour:

triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangleBlairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

Council:

triangleStop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

Austerity:

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

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triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

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