Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/837/19818
Campaign news in brief
Lutfur Rahman, mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London, proposed closing four local nurseries in September. Nearly half the borough's children live in poverty. These closures would have been a blatant attack on the local working class, especially mothers.
Members of trade union Unison, the Socialist Party and supporters of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) lobbied Rahman's cabinet meeting on 3 December. The earlier decision was reversed - a victory for the mothers of the "Save Our Nurseries" campaign.
North West England
Our quarterly fighting fund week of action, which involves extra campaign stalls, raised over £550. We sold dozens of papers and had numerous join cards filled in. At least two have joined already!
An eviction of a mum and her three children was stopped by housing campaigners in Newham, East London, on 4 December. The landlord, bailiff and locksmiths eventually turned away as 20 people had blocked the entrance to the property.
Housing association and court notices indicated that the eviction was over rent arrears. But on the day it emerged that the eviction was because the lease had come to an end! The rent arrears are a result of benefit caps and low pay.
The mum has a zero-hour contract job. She doesn't know if and when she will work or how much money she'll be paid, a nightmare when you have three children to look after. The landlord wants £300 a week - her employer pays around £300 a month!
The eviction has been postponed until January and the housing association agreed to meet with the mum and campaigners to look at rehousing the family.
Residents of the threatened Fred Wigg and John Walsh towers (see the Socialist issue 834) attended a Waltham Forest TUSC meeting on 3 December.
Nancy Taaffe, TUSC prospective parliamentary candidate, explained the importance of residents refusing to move and organising defence when faced with eviction. She called for the £10 million held hostage by the council to force agreement to sell-off plans to instead be used for renovations.
Louise Cuffaro, chair of the tenants' federation, appealed to those present to collect signatures on TUSC's rent control petition.
See full report www.walthamforesttusc.com
Over a hundred people, including Socialist Party members and TUSC supporters, protested outside Ukip's Welsh conference on 6 December. There was little sign of the so-called "people's army" as a trickle of Chelsea tractors and smart saloons ferried suited 'delegates' through police lines.
Swansea West's Labour MP explained that racism feeds off poverty and misery. This, I said, is why we need an alternative like TUSC - not Labour cutters.
Socialist Party members and TUSC supporters are fighting the closure of Moorways pool and leisure centre. It is part of the Labour council's recently announced £22 million budget cuts, which include slashing support for the elderly, disabled and mentally ill.
The pool's Derventio Excel swimming club, which trains elite swimmers, has said it has no "viable alternative" facility. We will be contacting trade unions and the community to build the campaign to save the pool. Rebel councillors in Southampton, now part of TUSC, prevented a similar closure.
In The Socialist 10 December 2014:
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