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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 December 2018

Northamptonshire council crisis continues

This small reprieve will not stop austerity - no-cuts budget needed

Northants is just the first - others will follow, photo Steve Score, photo Steve Score

Northants is just the first - others will follow, photo Steve Score, photo Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

Northants council worker

The Tory government has given Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) permission to use 60 million from the sale of its headquarters, One Angel Square, to fund essential services.

Allowing NCC to do this is unusual and clearly a political move to prevent Tory government ministers from having to directly bail out the Tory local authority.

The Socialist Party opposes selling off public buildings like One Angel Square.

But it does show that councils can use capital receipts to refuse to carry through austerity.

The government is weak. A campaign by Labour councils that fights to win the money needed to fund services from the government could be part of the campaign to get the Tories out.

Bankrupt

Struggling NCC was effectively bankrupt at the end of 2017. It has since been subject to two separate Section 114 notices, banning officers from any new spending on anything except core, mandatory services, such as social care.

This cash injection will likely spare NCC the embarrassment of declaring itself insolvent for the third time this year. But it won't spare working-class people the pain of austerity.

A recent damning Ofsted report into the county's failing children's services highlighted numerous issues, including many vulnerable children being left without a social worker and serious cases being left unassigned for months.

NCC has completely failed to address the seriousness of the situation. They have continued along the path of austerity - planned poverty of the working class to pay for the economic crisis.

The Tory government's cuts to local-authority funding have driven this crisis. NCC is not the only council on the brink of financial collapse.

Residents in the county have expressed their anger and there have been numerous protests by Save Northants Services outside County Hall in Northampton. But anger is not enough.

Cuts will continue despite the 60-million cash injection from the headquarters sale if a mass campaign of the trade unions, workforce and the community to resist the cuts and force extra funding from the government isn't built.

Workers should not suffer from Tory austerity. We stand by Northamptonshire's residents, putting forward an alternative to the utter failure of the current local authority. Cuts and privatisation must be immediately reversed.

Campaigners are demanding the council resign and new elections be held to give local people an anti-austerity alternative to Tory cuts.

The Socialist Party says that it's vital that any candidates aiming to replace the Tories back a no-cuts budget.

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In The Socialist 5 December 2018:


What we think

Corbyn and trade union movement urgently need to fight for a general election to kick out the Tories


International socialist news and analysis

France: mass demonstrations force president to back down

Midwives go on strike in New Zealand


Socialist Party feature

The growth of artificial intelligence technology


Workplace news and analysis

PCS AGS election: Where now after the PCS Left Unity conference?

Blairite Birmingham steps up union-busting and two workforces plan strikes

Victory! Grimethorpe dinner ladies' strike beats job cuts

Victory for left in RMT union president election

WHSmith: hands off our Post Offices!

Bradford College joins #FEfightback strike for decent pay

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Austerity: not one more day - Tories out now

Health bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

Northamptonshire council crisis continues

Arrogant landlords can be beaten

Fatal bus crash - an avoidable tragedy

Racist attack in Huddersfield


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fight Cardiff Council's school cuts

Join the march through Woking against austerity

Fighting NHS and fire services cuts and closures in Merseyside

Socialist Party argues against fire service cuts at Tyne and Wear consultation

Leeds TUC conference to organise fight against austerity

West Midlands Socialist Party women's meeting: our role in changing society

Socialist Students conference date set


 

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