St Austell, Cornwall, photo by Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

St Austell, Cornwall, photo by Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Gill Birchall, St Austell Socialist Party

Our new Socialist Party branch in St Austell, Cornwall, has wasted no time contacting our town councillors to seek their view on ‘no cuts’ people’s budgets and to offer our support to those opposed to passing on Tory cuts. At the end of 2015 our town council surveyed local people to ask their opinion on local services in light of intended cuts being passed down from Cornwall Council.

Cornwall is reputed to be the most deprived region in England, with one in four children living in poverty in certain areas. We pointed out to the town council that their survey was flawed as at no point did it give the people of St Austell the opportunity to reject austerity.

Our letter said that those already vulnerable and living in poverty are least able to pay further for services they are entitled to receive such as libraries, leisure centres, public toilets etc. So far we have received three responses, suggesting that ‘anti-austerity’ is a “meaningless phrase” and that our aim of opposing the impact on the town’s most vulnerable is “tokenistic”.

Undeterred we are emboldening our approach through weekly paper sales activities to raise awareness and continuing involvement in anti-austerity actions across the county.