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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2017

Surveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance between the RMT union, Socialist Party and others to give an electoral alternative to cuts-making and pro-capitalist politicians, photo Socialist Party

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance between the RMT union, Socialist Party and others to give an electoral alternative to cuts-making and pro-capitalist politicians, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour conference speech was greeted with predictable hostility by big business representatives like the CBI. But also by many councillors from Labour's still powerful Blairite wing.

Councillors in Haringey, north London, for example, pushing through a 'social cleansing' redevelopment plan, immediately opposed the newly announced policy for tenants' and leaseholders' ballots before such schemes can go ahead.

So how many Labour councillors will back Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies? The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has launched a survey to find out.

During the autumn councils start drawing up next year's spending plans, which are finally agreed at budget-setting meetings in February or March. This includes public consultation events and discussions with the council workers' trade unions.

This is certainly a time to bring into the debate the TUSC policy of 'no-cuts people's budgets' - of councils using their reserves and borrowing powers to set budgets that don't pass on Tory cuts and using the breathing space provided to demand that central government makes up future shortfalls.

There are 124 Labour-led councils and their combined spending power is greater than the state budgets of 16 EU countries! If they declared that they will set no-cuts budgets next year - in the expectation that they would be reimbursed by a future Labour government - what could the Tories do? Councillors could play their part in forcing May's government out of office - but will they?

The TUSC questionnaire asks local groups to find out the main outlines of their council Labour group's initial proposals for the 2018-19 budget and, if there are elections next year, when will the local party's council election manifesto be agreed? And where candidates have been selected, have right-wing Blairites been replaced?

Gathering this information will help TUSC decide how best it can act to build support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into the new year.

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In The Socialist 4 October 2017:


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Related links:

Labour:

triangleCorbynism three years on

triangleTories' Brexit bust-up - general election now

triangle'Corbyn-council' faces a choice: Implement or fight the cuts

Cuts:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Stop Swansea council cuts

triangleUniversal credit = universal misery

triangleFully fund mental health services now

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: Can our council fight the cuts?

Councillors:

triangleDevon foster carers fight 30% cut in allowances

triangleResidents push back Barking estate landlords

triangleMilitant was right - councils can fight cuts

TUSC:

triangleLegal Costs Fund Appeal launched for former Derby TUSC election agent

triangleWirral Socialist Party: The future of TUSC

Government:

triangleLibres y Combativas: striking for women's rights in the Spanish state

Council:

triangleHomeless driven from Windsor streets for royal wedding: abolish the monarchy and end homelessness now!

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleLabour conference shows: Blairites must be ousted

Budget:

triangleReading council plans privatisation - set a no-cuts budget instead!

Anti-austerity:

triangleFight for a democratic, socialist Labour Party

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangle'Vote Leave' fined: For a workers' Brexit

Council workers:

triangleEast Dunbartonshire council workers back further strikes

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