Adam Harmsworth, Coventry Socialist Party and TUSC candidate
On 7 October, Socialist Party members and supporters kicked off our council by-election campaign in Coventry’s Earlsdon ward, where we are standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.
Coventry needs a socialist voice in the council. The alarming news about Birmingham council going bankrupt has been followed by Coventry’s council warning it is heading down the same path. The Labour-controlled council is £12 million in debt this year, and faces debts of £30 million next year.
Socialists repeatedly warned the council that the situation was getting worse. It needed to launch a serious campaign to win back funds stolen by central government. Labour ignored those warnings. It carried out Tory cuts, scrapping 2,000 council jobs and gutting services. Earlsdon’s own library is only open thanks to the vigilant protests by residents.
Instead of building a united campaign with unions, Labour went to war with them, spending nearly £10 million last year on a vicious strike-breaking campaign against its own bin workers.
The developing financial catastrophe threatens to devastate Coventry’s services further, unless we build the fight to restore funding from this weak Tory government.