Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/832/19638
Another excuse to take money off ordinary people
Brent Kennedy, Carlisle Socialist Party
Carlisle's "Stop the Parking Tax" campaign, in which Socialist Party members play a leading role, recently held a public meeting of 150 residents. It was the biggest the community centre had ever witnessed. Cumbria County Council plans to impose a £20 charge for residents to park in their own street.
Members of the Socialist Party in Denton Holme, a traditional working class part of Carlisle, are campaigning against the charge. It has nothing to do with traffic management or residents' complaints about potholes and congestion. It's just another excuse to take money off ordinary people to plug the hole in the council budget.
At the annual budget meeting in February, Socialist Party member Grahame Higginson presented a petition calling on the Labour-Lib Dem council to refuse to implement government cuts. Looking over their shoulder at the Tories, the council has made a big thing of not increasing council tax - but now they are taxing residents by stealth.
Grahame and fellow member Dave Barton, with several other affected residents, tore the council's arbitrary justifications to shreds.
Several pointed out the charge will be inescapable for pensioners and lower paid residents of terraced streets. But the council leader himself will be exempt because he lives in a big house with a drive!
After the meeting, residents donated to a campaign fund and took official objection forms to collect further signatures. We handed them to the council on 31 October, accompanied by a street protest. The demonstration attracted coverage on regional ITV News and the front page of the local paper.
In The Socialist 5 November 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
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