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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 November 2000

Councillors drag Hackney into backruptcy while government owes 50 million

Defend Jobs and Services

NEW LABOUR has gone further than the hated Tories in their pursuit of 'free-market' policies, forcing councils across Britain to privatise services and slash the pay and conditions of council workers. On top of this we've had years of mismanagement and incompetence.

Hackney council in East London faces bankrupcy. Services are already inadequate and there is a shortfall of up to 40 million. They are considering making 4.5 million of cuts on 6 November, with a further 18 million at the end of the financial year. Unelected council officers have already frozen all but the bare minimum of expenditure. Yet over the last three years over 50 million has been stolen by central government from funds due to Hackney.

The council won't fight for the people of Hackney. They are willing to push through drastic cuts to avoid bankruptcy but don't care about the devastating effects on council workers' jobs or those affected by the withdrawal of services.

Only action by the council workforce, linking up with community campaigns, such as the nursery occupations, (see page 10) can stop the cuts and force the government to provide the funds. Hackney UNISON has already voted to ballot for industrial action and to support additional action, including selective walkouts.

The Socialist Party supports the proposal for UNISON to convene a conference of council unions, tenants associations, voluntary groups and others dependent on council funding. This would form the basis of a broad, democratic campaign against the cuts which could draw up a budget of what is needed to provide decent services in Hackney, and investigate the mismanagement of the council's finances. This conference should also decide council candidates who will fight for services and campaign for the return of the 50 million stolen from Hackney .

Already a meeting of representatives of Hackney tenant's organisations has enthusiastically supported this demand and want to participate in organising such a conference.

The Socialist Says

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In The Socialist 3 November 2000:

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

Defend Jobs and Services

The Blaim Someone Else Report

Rail's belated rush for safety

Domestic Violence: Shock figures but no new resources

Northern Ireland: Another Middle East in the Making?

BSE crisis - the madness of the profit system

Sri Lanka's violent election


 

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