Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/8837

Posted on 12 February 2010 at 0:00 GMT

Cat and the fiddle: Waltham Forest Council's sorry tale

Waltham Forest's sorry tale of Fluffy the cat, a repressive regime and a council under suspicion

"Next thing you know they'll be prosecuting residents for sticking up 'missing cat' posters on lamp-posts", joked Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, secretary of Walthamstow Socialist Party, when Waltham Forest's enforcement officer initially challenged the party over the right to campaign in the local town square.

But a local cat owner was actually fined 75 as part of the council's 'zero tolerance' of 'environmental crime'! The council has since said the fine was an "error" but few in the borough believe this.

Three Socialist Party members have been threatened with a 500 fine for setting up a stall for two hours a week on a Saturday morning. The Environmental Crime enforcement officer's hand-delivered letters cited a 1906 by-law, despite the fact that Socialist Party members and others have been campaigning there for over 20 years. They have since claimed campaigners are liable to a 50-100 charge for setting up a stall.

This clampdown appears to coincide with the Socialist Party's launch of a petition for a public enquiry into the council following the Independent Panel Report. The IPR exposed Waltham Forest council's privatisation schemes as scams. The document describes the privatising of adult education services to EduAction as a "systemic failing in Waltham Forest in respect of procurement, contract management, contract evaluation, monitoring and stewardship".

At a recent meeting called by the Socialist Party and attended by over 50 local campaigners, Linda Taaffe, Walthamstow Socialist Party chair, said: "London now feels increasingly like San Paolo, with private enterprise dominating our public spaces. The authorities are behaving more like those in a Latin American dictatorship in a clampdown designed to sweep all opposition from the streets of the borough.

"This council is supposed to support us not suppress us. We will mobilise the full power of the trade union movement as well as all who stand for democratic rights."

Sarah added: "We all want a pleasant and clean environment but this campaign is being used to clamp down on democracy. And it is hypocrisy. In fact it is campaigners in the area who defend the environment - such as the Residents Against Pollution campaigners who fought off plans to build an incinerator in a residential area.

"The council has been exposed using council taxpayers' money to line the pockets of their friends in big business by selling off every council service they can. Yet when we went out to campaign for a public enquiry we were harassed. We will not stop until freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are defended, in this the borough, famous as the home of the great William Morris."

The meeting called for a mass protest at the next full council meeting on Thursday 25 February and for mass action to defend free speech and reclaim the square on Saturday 6 March.

Local MP Neil Gerard and some Labour councillors have pledged support to the campaigners.

The 'campaign2campaign' is supported by: Waltham Forest trade unionists; Waltham Forest Unison local government; Walthamstow Socialist Party; Leytonstone Socialist Party; Green Party; Waltham Forest Trades Council; Socialist Workers Party; Civic Society; Youth Fight for Jobs; Residents Against Pollution; Unite Against Fascism; Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition; Tamil Solidarity; Committee for a Workers' International; Youth Against Racism in Europe

ACTION:

Mass visit to the surgery of Councillor Afzal Akram, cabinet member for Community Safety, enforcement and protection at 10am Saturday 13 February followed by mass campaign stall in the town square.

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






Related links:

Waltham Forest:

triangleWaltham Forest Universal Credit protest

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: How could a Corbyn government avoid sabotage?

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Environmental crisis - a working class issue

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: What attitude should socialists take to the 2018 local elections?

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: How can austerity be defeated in Portugal?

Council:

triangleRough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected

triangleNew ebook: Liverpool A City That Dared To Fight

triangleBristol libraries safe - for now - as council caves to pressure

Socialist:

triangleTamil Solidarity AGM & public meeting

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangleSocialist Students national conference

Socialist Party:

triangleCoventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

triangleArriva bus strikers stand firm

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

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