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Sheffield meeting against cuts
A press release from Campaign for a Sheffield Peoples Budget, 28.2.17
A well attended public meeting last night sent a clear message to Sheffield's Labour council ahead of its budget-setting meeting on Friday 3 March: "Labour council, grow a backbone. Stand up to Tory cuts!"
Around 40 local trade unionists and community campaigners heard speeches from: Clare Goonan (PCS union, Save Eastern Avenue Job Centre), Julie Marsland and Stella Garnham (Unison, Save Hurlfield View), Tim Jones (Sheffield Mental Health Action Group), Chris Rust (trees campaigner), Pete Davies (GMB union at Veolia and Amey) and Neil Carbutt (Fire Brigades Union).
They all explained the effects of Tory government imposed austerity cuts on the most vulnerable people in Sheffield, but were also scathing about the Labour council passing on these cuts without any resistance.
Proposing an alternative Peoples Budget, Jeremy Short said: "Labour councils do have a choice, they can use reserves and borrowing powers to offset Tory cuts whilst building a mass campaign to restore funding. Instead of passing on cuts to local people, they should be leading a fightback against Tory austerity."
Jeremy added: "Colluding with Amey and the police to use anti-trade union legislation to arrest pensioners is the inevitable consequence of not fighting the cuts and going down the privatisation road. Our services are being sold off and corporations are running the city on 25-35 year contracts."
The meeting agreed an alternative No Cuts Peoples budget. This included:
- Scrap the Bedroom Tax
- Bring Veolia waste management contract back in-house
- Terminate the Amey PFI and bring Highways back in-house with suspension of tree felling
- Keep Hurlfield View Open (£300,000)
- Restore MHAGS day centre funding (£10,000)
- Keep Central Library
- Introduce £10/hour minimum wage for council employees from 2018
Campaigners will hold a protest lobby against the cuts outside the Town Hall on Friday at 1pm ahead of the council's budget setting meeting.
For more information, please contact Alistair Tice 0770 671 0041
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 28 February 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.