Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/337/5668

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 March 2004

Coventry:

How Socialist Councillors Fought The Cuts

SOCIALIST PARTY councillors in Coventry made a stand and ensured that jobs and services were saved in this year's council budget. The original budget demanded service cuts and 200 job cuts, including front-line social workers for children.

Rob Windsor, Socialist Party councillor Coventry

The council is under no overall control and the two free market-loving parties - New Labour and old Tories - are equally balanced. There are two ex-Labour councillors (now independents), two Liberal councillors and three socialist councillors, Dave Nellist, Karen McKay and Rob Windsor.

Faced with this the New Labour "Majority Group" backed down on many cuts, seeing they couldn't get them accepted. However, they still planned to cut the scope for assessing adults for social services from four levels to two levels only.

The Socialist Party has resisted this. It would remove services for working class pensioners and disabled people who need care and support. New Labour still planned many job cuts.

The Tories' 'alternative budget' proposed funds for half of one of the social services levels to be cut but pay for it by closing two "Area Co-ordination" offices that help organise local people. These focus on local delivery of council services and act as a link between poor local communities and the council.

The Tories showed their contempt for poorer working-class communities by talking of the city's richer areas being "deprived" of services. They also clearly implied that any increase in eligibility for social services would be paid for by selling every service to the private sector.

Lack of funding

The Liberals put their feet firmly in their mouths, proposing to pay for keeping the levels of adult social services by cutting 34 jobs in Social Services and Education including 16 front-line social worker posts in children's Social Services. Their proposals were rejected.

Socialist councillors moved amendments calling for a number of jobs to be retained including trading standards posts and the accredited landlord scheme which makes sure private lettings are fit to rent out.

However the sticking point was our insistence that all levels of eligibility for adult social services should be retained. New Labour councillors had chided us for not "fully costing" our proposals.

We asked why they hadn't written to Tony Blair last March asking for a 'costing' of the 6.3 billion war and occupation of Iraq. 40 million in public funds could have come to Coventry for services if this war had not been fought!

Socialist Party votes against Labour cuts

Our amendment got five votes. The Liberal proposal got two votes and we helped beat the Tory proposal. So when the final vote was taken Coventry was left without a council budget.

The New Labour council leader then met Councillor Dave Nellist offering to put an extra 1 million into social services. On our behalf he rejected this as a token gesture that would not be enough to fund social services adequately. The Liberals got the same offer - they acquiesced so the budget was put through by two votes.

Socialist councillors have directly saved jobs and - through a campaign from last summer - gained extra (though inadequate) funds for adult social services. Had the Liberals not given in, we're certain more funds could have been won.

But our key point was lack of funding from central government. There is around a 1 billion gap in social care between what councils spend and what they get in government grant. The Kings Fund think tank calls for an extra 700 million from the government for council care services.

Before the meeting UNISON said that they'd pay for a bus to lobby Parliament for more funds. I said "Make that 20 buses and we're in business".

In Coventry and beyond, only a mass campaign based in the council unions and local communities can get the funds needed for council services without saddling working people with big council tax rises.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 6 March 2004:

March Against Liars And Occupiers

Strike Against Low Pay

Iraq War Continues To Haunt Blair

Fascists Threaten Socialist Party Stall


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fees UP Teaching hours DOWN Students ANGRY

NUS / AUT nation day of action 25 Feb

Activists Say Build A New Workers' Party

How Socialist Councillors Fought The Cuts

What Socialism Would Mean For Women

Council Tax - Unfair And Regressive


International socialist news and analysis

Haiti: Aristide Forced Out As Us Sends Troops

European Greens Unite - But Are They A Radical Alternative?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 March 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Coventry:

triangleConference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

triangleWho's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

triangleCoventry: march following racist police killing

triangleHousing safety campaign kicks off in Coventry

triangle#Justice4Daz campaign launch

Socialist:

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

Socialist Party:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

Rob Windsor:

triangle800 celebrate life of Rob Windsor, a socialist champion of Coventry's people

triangleFuneral details for Rob Windsor, socialist councillor

Council:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

Labour:

triangleTories torn - bin them now

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Workers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Schools

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

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members to send message to government: scrap the pay cap

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

18/10/17

Local government

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2