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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 June 2018

Knowsley council pushed back on cuts and privatisation

Stop the cuts, photo JB

Stop the cuts, photo JB   (Click to enlarge)

Merseyside Socialist Party reporters

The right-wing Labour group in Knowsley council, Merseyside, has been forced into a climbdown on two important measures.

It was their intention to sell off 10% of the public park areas in the borough for housebuilding, and to transfer the adult social care services to an arms-length company initially set up by neighbouring Sefton council, but to be joined also by Halton council; all three being Labour councils!

Both of these measures were opposed by Unison and the other affected unions.

The proposal to sell off parkland also provoked a campaign of public protest, and resulted in Labour losing two council seats in the May elections, one to the Green Party, and one to an independent who specifically campaigned on the parks issue.

The proposal to outsource adult social care was correctly seen by staff as an initial step that would ultimately lead to full privatisation, and on worse terms and conditions.

In Halton, Unison's objections to the transfer proposal resulted in the council pulling out of the scheme at an early stage, whereas Knowsley initially carried on.

Unison initiated a campaign of vigorously lobbying councillors, called a well-attended public meeting in order to involve parents and carers of users of adult social care services, and were joined by the other unions in this.

They also organised a consultative ballot of adult social care members, and on the basis of a 68% turnout, received a 97% vote for strike action!

Faced with such determined opposition, the council backed down, but the political question of the continued right-wing nature of Labour local government in the party's urban heartlands illustrated here, despite the Corbyn leadership, remains unresolved.

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In The Socialist 20 June 2018:


What we think

Desperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act


News

Tory cash boost not enough - save our NHS

No to Trump's climate change chaos

Universal Credit delivers claimant misery

Refugee suicide scandal

Them & Us

What We Saw


International socialist news and analysis

Seattle council repeals Amazon Tax


1000 issues of the Socialist

1000 issues of the Socialist: A vital weapon standing in proud traditions

Greetings from readers of the Socialist

How do we produce the Socialist?


Workplace

DWP surrenders to union pressure - now vote Yes to smash pay cap for everyone

Rolls-Royce: fight all job cuts!

GMB union: NHS reps reject Tory pay offer

McStrikers and young workers take centre stage at bakers' union 2018 conference

Northern Rail strike reaches 21 days of action to save guards

Miners demand end to pensions robbery

Yorks NHS workers fight outsourcing

Unite agrees NSSN affiliation - come to the NSSN conference!


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Tamil Solidarity Day: intense, lively, thought-provoking

Grenfell disaster: one year on, still no prosecutions, still no adequate housing..

Organisers' school - an opportunity to educate and discuss

Leeds: Disability campaigners force council to retreat

Wrenford centre: Stop heartless Tory cuts

Knowsley council pushed back on cuts and privatisation

Orgreave - no justice, no peace


Opinion

Inspirational account of young Marx's political battles

Rousing, funny take on Marxism - from the man himself

The Socialist inbox


 

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triangleFight the far-right - fight for socialist policies

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