Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/810/18569
Battling the cuts: when push comes to shove
A pushchair protest took place in Leicester on 30 April against cuts being made by the council to children's centres. Parents affected by cuts to the centres joined members of Leicestershire Against the Cuts marching in opposition to the slashing of this service, which plays a crucial role in supporting families across Leicester.
Unison union placards decorated by kids were prominent on the march, and Unison had a marquee in the city centre where petitions were signed by many people going by. 96 jobs are under threat and Unison and the GMB union have both said they will ballot for industrial action.
The council and the executive Labour Mayor use the excuse that the government has cut the grants they get. But what angers people is that while cutting services like this and others, such as adventure playgrounds, homeless hostels and old people's homes, the council is spending tens of millions of pounds on rebuilding parts of the city centre.
As a parent said: "I'm all for the city centre being made to look nice, but what kind of priorities does the mayor have when services like this are being devastated?" Or as another protester against the adventure playgrounds/youth clubs cuts previously said: "The Mayor is all fur coat and no knickers!"
Leicestershire Against the Cuts is arguing that, if he wanted to, the Mayor could set a 'no cuts' budget using the £150 million reserves and the capital receipts from land and buildings they have sold off to keep services running, and build a mass campaign to force the government to return the money they cut.
In The Socialist 7 May 2014:
Socialist Party election campaigning
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns