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From: The Socialist issue 183, 24 November 2000: No Way to Run the NHS

Search site for keywords: Hackney - Council workers - Council - London - Privatisation

Sack Mad Max not Council Workers

HACKNEY COUNCIL is out of control. Confidential documents to be put to the council's Finance and Policy committee on 4 December show that there is a projected overspend of £76 million by March 2001 and not the £40 million originally announced.

Chris Newby

This catastrophic situation means that another £17.5 million of cuts are planned on top of the £4 million already announced. The council is also considering a council tax increase of 10% a year for the next three years. Hackney already has one of the highest council tax rates in Britain.

Hilary Armstrong, Labour's local government minister, talks of taking services away from the council, no doubt into similar private hands as Serviceteam who are receiving an £8 million handout to take over waste collection and street cleaning.

Chris Woodhead, ex-head of OFSTED the schools inspectorate, says Nord Anglia, the company already running some of the Hackney education services has a 'patchy record' but incredibly Woodhead's solution is to call for the wholesale privatisation of education services.

But privatisation is no way out, it will only make a bad situation even worse. One woman on a Stoke Newington estate explained to The Socialist how, last summer, the rubbish was piling high and causing a health hazard. After getting nowhere with the council, the tenants moved the rubbish away from the housing themselves.

Several days later the tenants each got a letter from the council threatening to fine them £1,000 for moving the rubbish!

Council workers are angry about the state of Hackney borough and the incompetence of senior management. After hearing that Max Caller, the £150,000-a-year managing director, had asked to speak at the all-union mass meeting one worker said that she wanted to mummify him!

Hackney Socialist Party members have been to the fore in proposing and attempting to implement a strategy in the workforce and the community to fight the cuts.

DEMONSTRATION, SATURDAY 25 November, Stoke Newington Common to Hackney Town Hall, starting at 11.30am.
SOCIALIST PARTY public meeting, Thursday 30 November. 7.30pm at the Black & White Club, 22 Ashwin Street, off Dalston Lane, Dalston, London E8, all welcome.
COMMUNITY CONFERENCE, Sunday 3 December, Chat's Palace, Brooksby Walk, London E9. To attend, write to Hackney UNISON, 3rd Floor, Netil House, 1-7 Westgate Street, London E8.

  • Sack 'Mad Max' Caller and all incompetent senior managers
  • Councillors resign now - elect representatives from the community who will fight privatisation and defend services
  • No cuts in jobs or services
  • No privatisation
  • Build a mass campaign of the council workforce and service users to force the government to provide full funding for all services.

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