Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/341/5702
Stop The Council Tax Rip-Off
No cuts in jobs & services
"WHAT WE are saying is that we are going to have a go," Nancy Taaffe told the socialist. Nancy, a member of Waltham Forest Unison and the Socialist Party in northeast London is helping to organise a local demonstration against council tax rises and cuts in services.
"From council caretakers to library assistants, from catering staff to play workers, no-one has escaped the clutches of the private profiteers and the slash and burn policies of the New Labour councillors. The people of the borough have found their streets dirtier, services cut to the bone and staff so stretched that there is a constant feeling of being ineffectual.
"This march comes at a time when senior managers have awarded themselves a pay increase of over 20%. The Chief Executive who presided over a failing authority was given a quarter of a million pound golden goodbye.
"The whole council is crawling with consultants on the make. They have a short-term outlook, caring nothing for future generations who will use and work in public services. They demoralise and drive out committed long-standing staff. They make conditions bad for those that have been there a long time and introduce contracts for the new workers on less pay, with no job security and longer hours. These people, along with senior management staff and agency staff, have taken £15 million off the people of Waltham Forest.
"We are often told that there is nothing you can do to change things. But we are organising this demo with an eye on the local elections in London in two years time. We have leafletted shops, playgroups and the underground, we have mailed virtually all of the council workforce.
"We want to build a borough-wide campaign linking up all the different groups, such as the campaign to save the local cinema and the trades council, the various trade unions and the parents who use the play services that are to be cut.
"We want to build an outline of an opposition to this current set of councillors. The Socialist Party has a proud track record of fighting and winning in local elections. We hope to score some good victories for our party and our class.
"There are no guarantees that things can get better. But to turn a New Labour catch-phrase on its head - doing nothing means that things can get a hell of a lot worse.
"Join with the Socialist Party and help organise the fightback now."
- No council tax rises
- No cuts in jobs and services
- No to privatisation
- Increase funding from central government to meet the needs of local councils
- Elect councillors who will join with the community to fight for more funding and to improve our services
In The Socialist 3 April 2004:
Workplace news and events
International socialist news and analysis