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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2021

Keep Liverpool council's One Stop Shops open

 photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Roger Bannister, Liverpool Mayoral candidate for TUSC and Liverpool Socialist Party

In the 1980s, when the Labour council in Liverpool was led by supporters of the Militant newspaper, forerunner of the Socialist, one of the reforms that was implemented was the opening of eight 'One Stop Shops' across the city. These were council offices, located in different neighbourhoods designed to make it easier for people to access council services, deal with queries or problems, and to make the council less remote and less bureaucratic.

Instead of a bus trip into the city centre, and a trail from one municipal office to another, residents could simply go to their nearest One Stop Shop. Staff were friendly and trained to deal with a wide range of enquiries, or to refer those that could not be dealt with immediately on to the correct council section for appropriate action.

Labour cuts

Despite the fact that this service was understandably popular with residents, budget cuts have reduced the One Stop Shops from the original eight to four, and it was proposed in the Budget for 2021/22 that the remaining four should close. This raised an immediate outcry of opposition, and the main affected trade union, Unison, inaugurated a series of protests outside the One Stop Shops every Friday lunchtime.

Unison members were joined on the protests by organisations like Liverpool Trades Council, Liverpool Against the Cuts and the Merseyside Pensioners Association, which were greeted warmly by local residents too. Faced with this opposition, Joe Anderson, mayor at the time, was forced back - assuring Unison that no compulsory redundancies would occur. But he also proposed that two of the One Stop Shops would be reopened on a peripatetic basis, moving from site to site on different days and at different times, denying residents access to a full-time service.

Unison ended its dispute, understandable perhaps in the context of the assurances on redundancies, but less so when one Unison member told me that her Unison representative had told members to have nothing to do with the ongoing protests!

But the protests have continued, and are supported by Socialist Party members, and TUSC candidates. I am helping to maintain the Friday vigil at my local One Stop Shop in Kirkdale. I call for all eight One Stop Shops to be reopened.

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In The Socialist 21 April 2021:


What we think

Build a Socialist alternative

Capitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights


Football

Football: no trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game


International

Left candidate, Pedro Castillo - surprise of Peruvian elections

USA: cop killings and the anti-racist movement

Superpowers' tensions continue to ratchet up


Elections

Don't trust the Labour right's empty promises

Fight to stop cuts

Keep Liverpool council's One Stop Shops open

Liverpool hustings - only TUSC has a strategy to take on the Tories

Essex: Why I'm standing for TUSC

Carlisle campaign day success

Socialist Party northern region meeting

With public campaigning back in full swing - now is the time to raise fighting fund


Workplace

Socialist Party members - part of a left challenge for Unison's leadership

Fight back against British Gas bosses' 'fire and rehire' offensive

Retail workers desperately need a fighting and democratic union

CWU BT ballot - time for action now!

Thurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

Bus workers protest Go-Ahead's 'fire and rehire'

Ballots to defend reps on Woolwich Ferry

PCS leadership ballot underway


News

Long Covid: Fight for jobs, benefits and services

Climate change - Johnson spouts 'greenwash 2.0'

Covid and precarious workers - union organisation vital

News in brief


Campaigns

Housing activists storm rental firm's offices

Protests continue against proposed anti-protest laws


 

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Related links:

Liverpool:

trianglePauline Wall memorial meeting

triangleObituary - Pauline Wall

triangleAnne: Hillsborough and the fight for justice

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Hillsborough - the facts and the cover-up

triangleJohn Barnes on class and capitalism. What's missing?

Council:

triangleNewham college strike solid against bully privatisers

triangleCoventry bin strike continues

triangleBirmingham: Cuts consultations replaced by computer game

triangleNewham council rejects using 0.03% of reserves to fund arts

Unison:

triangleCarmarthenshire gritters take action as Plaid-led council reneges on agreement

triangleUni support staff strike ballot

triangleFighting union leadership needed to win NHS pay rise

Cuts:

trianglePeople's Budget: We beat council cuts before, we will again

triangle10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts

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Royal Mail

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Bradford

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Socialist Students

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Protest

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