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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 December 2021

Challenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council

Protesting against Send education cuts in Waltham Forsest, photo Waltham Forest Socialist Party

Protesting against Send education cuts in Waltham Forsest, photo Waltham Forest Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Alison Hill, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

How can we mount a challenge to the cutters and the evictors in Waltham Forest Council? On 5 December, there were people from many different campaigns and trade unions at a meeting organised by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Councillors in this low-waged east London borough are promoting the development of unaffordable flats as they acquiesce to property developers' drive for profit. While sitting on usable reserves of £177 million, the council has cut services, put up rent and council tax, and effectively cut council workers' pay.

The council recently nodded through plans to redevelop the local hospital, Whipps Cross, but not as a facility to serve the growing local population. Whipps Cross will be smaller and surrounded by another private housing estate, making expansion impossible.

Socialist Party member Nancy Taaffe said standing a large slate of TUSC candidates could show a real alternative to cuts and austerity. When we stood TUSC candidates before, we argued for rent control. That demand is even more relevant now as the council tries to turn the borough into a property developers' paradise.

TUSC is a coalition, providing a platform for local campaigns and trade unionists - far more effective than standing as individual 'independent' candidates. Anyone who agrees with TUSC's core policies of no cuts and no privatisation can stand under this umbrella.

Speakers from the floor backed up this approach. They pointed to the election of the new Sharon Graham leadership in Unite the Union, and Bakers' union BFAWU disaffiliating from Labour, as signs that the voice of working-class people is beginning to be heard.

TUSC can inspire people by putting forward no-cuts budgets based on what working-class people need, not what the Tories and big business say can be afforded. Discussions in Waltham Forest are still at an early stage, but the meeting provided an important opportunity to build a real alternative in the 2022 elections, when every seat in the borough is up for grabs. We plan to take the no-cuts proposal around local union branches and community campaigns to seek input on what a needs budget for Waltham Forest should include, and invite working-class fighters to join the TUSC electoral challenge.

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In The Socialist 8 December 2021:


Unite to fight for pay and NHS we deserve

Government social care plans: Where is the money?

Uni staff and students must unite to end marketisation and for free education

Covid news in brief

What we think

Workers' politics needed to exploit Tory scandal and splits

People's Budgets

Building People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

International news

Chile presidential election - stop the far-right candidate

Unprecedented floods in British Columbia

Wider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

Defending abortion rights in the US

Workplace news

Universities strike - build the action and stand united to win

Thousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike

Sandwell bin workers beat Serco and win pay rise

Panasonic workers break company pay freeze

Clarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'

Organise to win the NEU's 8% pay demand

Yorkshire Stagecoach bus workers' week-long strike

Worksop Wincanton logistics workers on strike

Newham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation

Sheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise

Napo ballots for trade dispute

Campaigns news

Affordable housing for all

Challenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council

Remembering Tony Davison

Fighting Fund: Help us reach over 50,000

Defying unjust laws - a rich history of struggle

Mail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image


Film review: The Harder They Fall


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