Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 27 February 2014 at 15:13 GMT

Protest against the council cuts budget, Leicester, February 2014, photo S Score

Protest against the council cuts budget, Leicester, February 2014, photo S Score   (Click to enlarge)

Every vulnerable section of society hit by Labour's budget in Leicester

Around 200 noisy protesters gathered outside the town hall in Leicester on 26 February to oppose the cuts proposed by the city mayor Pete Soulsby and being approved by the council.

Many of these were workers at the children's centres being cut back - 133 jobs are likely to go. The council claims it will keep all the buildings open whilst slashing the numbers of staff. Rumour has it that the buildings are linked to the council receiving government cash - so they stay open. Some staff were saying "the council will have plenty of storage venues for tables and chairs", but will not be able to provide the services that are needed in all the areas.

They were joined by other council workers from trade unions such as Unison, GMB and Unite, and UCU, as well as many groups affected by the various cuts being made. Support also came from, amongst others, Leicestershire Against the Cuts (who originally called for this protest), the Trades Union Council, the PCS union and Unite Community.

'Upset' and meek Labour

The mayor has hit the homeless, the disabled, the elderly, children and young people, in fact any vulnerable group you could name!

Protest against the council cuts budget, Leicester, February 2014, photo by S Score

Protest against the council cuts budget, Leicester, February 2014, photo by S Score   (Click to enlarge)

The loud chanting must have deafened councillors as they trooped in to vote for the cuts. The all-powerful executive mayor in Leicester, and 51 of the 54 councillors are all Labour. They claim to be really upset at the impact of the these cuts and point to the Tory-Liberal government cutting their funding. But if they were really that bothered they would fight the government cuts instead of meekly passing them on.

Whilst those affected by the cuts were outside protesting, Soulsby was getting ready to go on a nice junket to Cannes in the south of France. He is spending 25,000 of council money on the trip to meet billionaire property tycoons at a conference where, the conference website says, he will be able to "discover profitable opportunities and meet key international stakeholders, including investors".

City centre projects

What really gets people's goat is that at the same time as making the cuts Soulsby has earmarked 35 million of council money (not including European grants) to "regeneration" projects - overwhelmingly to prettify the city centre whilst the outer estates and poorest areas are left to rot.
Since coming to power he has raised 15 million selling council land and buildings, with another 8 million to come.

Why doesn't he use that money as part of a strategy to plug the gap and keep services running while he builds a campaign involving the people of Leicester to force the missing cash from the government? When asked by the Leicester Mercury about using that money for services he said it will be "gone in 18 months" and that "short-changes the city". Actually that proves he could do it. The real people who are being short-changed now are the ordinary people of the city who are suffering these cuts!

Protest against the council cuts budget, Leicester, February 2014, photo by S Score

Protest against the council cuts budget, Leicester, February 2014, photo by S Score   (Click to enlarge)

Fighting back

The lobby was addressed by representatives of the council workers and unions as well as Leicestershire Against the Cuts, including Socialist Party members Tony Church and myself. The banner of the 'Save Our Services - Sack Mayor Soulsby' campaign was prominent. This campaign opposes the idea of an executive mayor - Leicester never had an opportunity to have a say on it - and is collecting signatures to force a legally enforcable referendum on whether to keep the mayor.

Protest against the council cuts budget, Leicester, February 2014, photo S Score

Protest against the council cuts budget, Leicester, February 2014, photo S Score   (Click to enlarge)

The council unions will now be considering industrial action against the job losses, and the campaign against the cuts goes on! There are no local elections in Leicester this year, but next year there are, and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) will be electorally challenging all those councillors who voted for cuts (and the mayor if he hasn't been removed by a referendum before then).
We are starting that campaign now by asking affected groups to consider putting up candidates as part of the TUSC umbrella.

Steve Score

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

Related links:


triangleLeicester plans sales boost of 1,000th edition of the Socialist

triangleLeicester socialists fight poverty-paying sweatshops

triangleLeicestershire NHS campaign launched

triangleLeicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy

triangleStrike continues: set dates for next national action


triangle1000 issues of the Socialist: A vital weapon standing in proud traditions

triangleKnowsley council pushed back on cuts and privatisation

triangleDesperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act

triangleMiners demand end to pensions robbery


triangleAction demanded from new council

triangleVictory: how school strike beat 'academy' privatisers

triangleKeith Morrell, anti-cuts councillor, re-elected


triangleWrenford centre: Stop heartless Tory cuts

triangleRolls-Royce: fight all job cuts!


triangleLeeds: Disability campaigners force council to retreat


triangleTamil Solidarity Day: intense, lively, thought-provoking

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Rolls-Royce: fight all job cuts!


Grenfell Tower

Grenfell disaster: one year on, still no prosecutions, still no adequate housing..


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity Day: intense, lively, thought-provoking



DWP surrenders to union pressure - now vote Yes to smash pay cap for everyone



Orgreave - no justice, no peace



Knowsley council pushed back on cuts and privatisation



Wrenford centre: Stop heartless Tory cuts



Leeds: Disability campaigners force council to retreat


Socialist Party

Organisers' school - an opportunity to educate and discuss


National Shop Stewards Network

Unite agrees NSSN affiliation - come to the NSSN conference!



Yorks NHS workers fight outsourcing



Northern Rail strike reaches 21 days of action to save guards



McStrikers and young workers take centre stage at bakers' union 2018 conference



GMB union: NHS reps reject Tory pay offer


The Socialist

How do we produce the Socialist?

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018