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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:

triangleSave our NHS candidate contesting South Yorkshire mayor election

triangleSheffield tree fellings paused as bully Labour council feels pressure

triangleUCU strike: bosses on the run

triangleNational lecturers' pension strike continues

triangle8,000 strong petition opposes closure of Sheffield health services

Cuts:

triangleCoventry TUSC: Council cuts - how can we fight back?

triangleLewisham & Southwark Socialist Party: What would a socialist council look like?

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: How can councils protect public services?

triangleWorkers' victory over anti-union Scottish council

Budget:

triangleSwansea Labour council votes for cuts

triangleSpring Statement 2018: Tory austerity staggers on despite economic and political weakness

triangleSalford nurseries consultation delayed

Council:

triangleBromley library workers win strike campaign

triangleVictorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist

Union:

triangleUsdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism

Government:

triangleMay elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care

Reps:

triangleLocal government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

PFI:

triangleNHS: public health - not private profit

GMB:

triangleKFC delivery crisis: make the bosses pay, not the workers!

Socialist Party:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: France's 1968 'month of revolution'

Grant:

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

Local government:

triangleChild poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

Mental health:

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

Council tax:

triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

Firefighters:

triangleStaines fire services saved

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