Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/971/26466

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 November 2017

Is cuts-making Preston 'beating Tory austerity'?

Fight for no-cuts budgets

The way to beat the Tory cuts is not to make the Tory cuts, photo by Mary Finch

The way to beat the Tory cuts is not to make the Tory cuts, photo by Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Becci Heagney, Lancashire Socialist Party

Labour-controlled Preston Council has received press coverage as "beating Tory austerity" (Mirror), "where workers are in control of wealth" (Guardian) and "Jeremy Corbyn's model town" (Economist). Is this too good to be true?

There have been positive initiatives taken by the council. For example, it's an accredited Living Wage employer. It has put an emphasis on contracting local firms rather than big businesses. It's setting up a credit union, and has set up a council-owned energy supplier.

The council claims these measures have resulted in a massive increase in money spent in the local economy. This is all well and good. But there are hard limitations to what it can achieve. And meanwhile the council has cut jobs and privatised services!

Some have argued the credit union will be able to compete with the big banks in Preston, and actually take power away from them. But no local credit union will be able to lend the sort of money or offer all the products a big bank can.

Similarly, a council-owned energy supplier will be able to save some people money. But it cannot sustainably compete with the cartel of the 'Big Six'.

Private

Of course creating jobs is a good thing. But the private construction company held up for doing so, Conlon, has only created a handful. And the jobs created by Preston's focus on attracting more shops and restaurants to the high street will be of the low-paid, zero-hour type.

And many Preston initiatives are not positive at all - such as privatising leisure centres, and charging for bin collections, as part of the city's cuts budget.

The council is backing the Lancashire 'sustainability and transformation plan' in the NHS, which will mean massive cuts to hospitals. It aims to copy the 'housing boom' in Manchester by attracting private developers to build luxury apartments - with very few plans for affordable housing.

Meanwhile, homelessness is a growing problem. The council puts out propaganda that 80% of people on the streets aren't "genuinely homeless." It has brought in a rule that "beggars" will be given five minutes' notice to move on - or they will be fined or taken to court!

Many of the positive proposals in Jeremy Corbyn's hugely popular manifesto do not yet go far enough. For example on energy companies. We argue the sector must be nationalised, ending the control of the Big Six. It will be even harder to carry out these half-measures effectively in just one city.

And Preston's measures are not even far-reaching enough to deal with the issues people are facing through the austerity it continues to implement: low pay, rising living costs, lack of decent jobs and more.

The way for councillors in Preston to start "beating Tory austerity" is by refusing to pass on Tory cuts. This means using reserves and prudential borrowing, and mobilising a mass movement to win the money back across Lancashire - almost 300 million by 2020.

If Corbyn and McDonnell backed 'model towns' like that - and promised to reimburse them on coming to power - they could bring down this hated Tory government now.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 15 November 2017:


Socialism 2017

Socialism 2017: Organising to fight back


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

The Socialist Inbox


International socialist news and analysis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories on the brink - kick them out!

No more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

We're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

Is cuts-making Preston 'beating Tory austerity'?

4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

What we saw


Socialist Party workplace news

Fight to keep guards on trains continues despite setback Aslef deal

Strikers picket the South Western Railway network

Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

Huge support for strikes of bus drivers and train guards

Virgin train workers ballot for strike action

Plymouth PCS members fight relocation threat


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

March for free education! We demand a future!

Corbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

Why I joined the Socialist Party: "I started to question whether there was a better way"

Carlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit


 

Home   |   The Socialist 15 November 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Preston:

trianglePreston & Lancashire Socialist Party: Britain after the referendum

triangleRe-open Chorley A&E - end the staff shortages

triangleChorley A&E battle

Austerity:

triangleWe can win the fight for the NHS

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Britain today - How can austerity be defeated?

triangleVienna: 50,000 march against racism and austerity

Cuts:

triangleBradford Socialist Party: A strategy to defeat the cuts

triangleScene set for TUSC conference electoral debate

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

Council:

triangleNo fudge with the right wing

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: When Liverpool council defied the Tories

Jobs:

triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

Lancashire:

triangleSkipton show proves draw of socialist art

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

Councillors:

triangleStriking back against academies in Newham

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

14/2/18

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil youth march for justice

14/2/18

Foreign Aid

Oxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity

14/2/18

TUSC

Building support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections

14/2/18

EU

What we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in

14/2/18

Rents

Rent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!

14/2/18

Public ownership

McDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

14/2/18

NHS

We can win the fight for the NHS

7/2/18

Labour

NHS - build the fightback

7/2/18

Labour

Corbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war

7/2/18

Haringey

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

7/2/18

Refugees

90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes

7/2/18

Outsourcing

Capita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

7/2/18

Trump

Trump v NHS

31/1/18

NHS

NHS: use the 3 February protests as a launch pad for a mass movement

31/1/18

Davos

Capitalists fear for their system at Davos

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999