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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:

triangleSave Salford nurseries!

triangleLabour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

triangleBlairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor

triangleBuilding the campaign against clearances of the working class

triangleNo fudge with the right wing

Cuts:

triangleBradford protests against kids' service cuts

triangleVictory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

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

triangleBradford Socialist Party: A strategy to defeat the cuts

Councillors:

triangleStriking back against academies in Newham

triangleVictory for school cleaners!

triangleLabour civil war re-erupts over Haringey regeneration project

TUSC:

triangleOutrageous sentence for TUSC agent in 'misleading electors' court case

triangleTUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

Government:

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

Council:

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

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleHaringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council

Budget:

triangleKirklees council opens consultation of library services

Anti-austerity:

triangleTory infighting escalates - workers' action can oust them

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

Council workers:

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

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