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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 March 2017

Sheffielders call for a no-cuts 'people's budget'

Sheffield bin workers on strike, supported by the Socialist Party, 27.10.16, photo A Tice

Sheffield bin workers on strike, supported by the Socialist Party, 27.10.16, photo A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Jeremy Short, Sheffield South Socialist Party

Around 40 local trade unionists and community campaigners discussed proposals for a no-cuts 'people's budget' ahead of Sheffield council's budget-setting meeting. They heard speeches from PCS union reps fighting the closure of Eastern Avenue Jobcentre, local government Unison reps campaigning against the closure of the council's last remaining dementia support centre and Sheffield Mental Health Action Group (MHAGS) fighting the loss of their grant.

A GMB union officer spoke on the problems of the outsourced waste management service with Veolia and the 2 billion-plus PFI contract with Amey for repairing and maintaining roads. This contract also involves the felling of trees about which another campaigner spoke. And there were also contributions from the firefighters union FBU.

All the speakers explained the effects of Tory government-imposed austerity cuts on the most vulnerable people in Sheffield, but were also scathing about the Labour council passing these on without any resistance.

We emphasised that all the protests had a common link - the failure of the council to stand up to Tory government cuts and the policy of forcing councils into the arms of private sector developers and contractors.

Sheffield Council is proposing 26 million of cuts in services for 2017-18 at the same time as increasing reserves by 13 million!

The meeting agreed an alternative 'people's budget' using reserves (including those allocated for redundancies) with a modest increase in spending, while campaigning with others to restore the funding stolen from local councils.

The demands include:

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Related links:

Sheffield:

triangle8,000 strong petition opposes closure of Sheffield health services

triangleTeachers strike in Sheffield

triangleSheffield Eastern Ave Job Centre strike ends

triangleSheffield trees campaigner sentenced to prison

triangleOrgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

Cuts:

triangleBradford protests against kids' service cuts

triangleVictory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

triangleLabour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

triangleNorthants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

Budget:

triangleKirklees council opens consultation of library services

triangleLobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Why we're lobbying the council for a no-cuts budget

Council:

triangleSave Salford nurseries!

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: How can we get Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into our local council?

Union:

triangleUnison national women's conference

Government:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: How long can May cling on for?

Reps:

triangleLocal government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

PFI:

triangleFailing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

GMB:

triangleFerrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

Socialist Party:

triangleLively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

Grant:

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

Local government:

triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

Mental health:

triangleNHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

Council tax:

triangleThousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

Firefighters:

triangleStaines fire services saved

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