Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/6866
Wirral: Stop the cuts and closures
THE PEOPLE of Wirral are organising against the Lib-Lab coalition council's plans to axe libraries and other leisure services. The cuts are due to a budget deficit caused by years of mismanagement, including investing in Iceland, and cuts forced by central government.
Dave Lunn, Wirral Against The Cuts steering committee (personal capacity)
On 9 February when the council discusses these cuts, they will meet protests by residents, trade unionists and community groups.
Local politicians rightly fear losing their seats at elections. Campaigners are already discussing how to stand anti-cuts candidates for council. Councillors may well vote on 9 February against cuts in 'their' ward, while voting for the whole cuts programme, so they can claim to have opposed cuts but the cuts would be voted through!
Such pressure is building up that concessions are possible, but within current spending limits these will be at the expense of closing something else.
We demand the council breaks out of spending limits imposed by central government, sets a budget to fund services people want, and demands the government coughs up the shortfall.
Labour councillors have had informal discussions with a local Housing Association to take up all the assets for disposal. The ruling councillors want to make cuts a "fact on the ground" to undercut community opposition.
Recently in response to pressure they made a concession by 'saving' Bromborough Library. However, this was at the expense of Eastham library, not previously on their hit-list and where the local community had never even been consulted! 400 local residents turned up to a meeting called by the united 'Wirral Against the Cuts' campaign to organise opposition.
Local people are not responsible for years of underfunding by Tory and New Labour governments. We did not cause the credit crunch. We should not pay for it!
Join the 9 February demonstration - assemble from 5pm Wallasey town hall.
Further mass action can force a U-turn from those swinging the axe. Also we need to make plans now to contest the 2010 council elections.
The Socialist Party demands:
- No closures, no job cuts, no privatisation.
- For a needs-led budget; consult communities and workers on their needs; full funding for essential services without any cuts!
- Additional government funding to meet the deficit.