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Posted on 16 December 2008 at 0:00 GMT

Protests at Wirral council's cuts

ON 10 December over 150 residents, community groups and trade unionists held a noisy protest at Wirral Council's decision to close thriving community centres, libraries and leisure centres. The cuts are planned to plug a financial shortfall resulting from high risk investments in Icelandic banks which have since gone belly up.

Dave Lunn

In an area which has only recently come out of European Objective 1 status, Wirral council are taking away libraries, swimming pools and other sports facilities. Many young people in Wirral can't afford to buy books from Waterstones or afford to pay the membership fees to join Fitness First so they are in effect being abandoned.

What civilised local authority abandons its youth? Probably the same local authority who will be complaining about 'feral youth' if there is an increase in crime in the coming months!

The working class didn't cause this financial crisis so why should they pay for it? In the 1980s our neighbours in Liverpool showed us that when you organise workers and communities behind a bold socialist programe there are alternatives to making cuts. As a result of the campaigns led by Militant supporters (forerunners to the Socialist Party) extra money was obtained from the vicious Thatcher government.

Then houses, nurseries and other facilities were built for Liverpool residents, a lasting legacy for a council which was never voted out of office. Contrast those gains to the cuts faced on Wirral.

We must pressurise councillors of all parties to represent us rather than trying to make cuts in services and the trade unions must use their authority to bring together all residents and community groups together in one united campaign

However, regardless of which parties Wirral councillors represent, their only interest is to balance the books within the confines of capitalism. It is therefore important for Wirral's working class that the Campaign for A New Workers Party is developed to enable voters to have a genuine Socialist alternative to vote for, who will represent their interests and not those of the bosses or New Labour.

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