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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 March 2006

Stoke: Socialist councillors do their job

AT STOKE City Council's budget-setting meeting on 6 March, Blairite elected mayor Mark Meredith tried to pass on government cuts of 21 million over the next three years through cutting jobs and services, increasing council tax and more privatisation.

Meredith (on 78,000 a year) told us that this would involve a "programme of efficiency outstripping anything tried by this council before". This will result in "a reduction in staff numbers" which would be "voluntary then compulsory". It would also charge 20 for Blue Badge holders and remove payment for the first three sick days of a council worker's illness.

However, these slash and burn policies were thrown into turmoil by the alternative 'No Cuts in Jobs and Services - No Privatisation' budget, proposed by Socialist Party councillors Dave and Paul Sutton.

This budget called for no cuts in jobs and services, an end to the freeze on job replacements, no privatisation, no increase in council tax together with a broad-based campaign to fight for the return of money taken by years of government cuts.

New Labour councillor, John Beech, raged that this budget would "send out the wrong message" and claimed: "We got elected to do a job". But no councillor was elected to cut jobs, services and increase council tax.

Seven Independents voted for the Socialist Party alternative budget. New Labour and Tories voted against. The two BNP councillors, who claim to represent 'British white workers', again showed their uselessness by voting against the alternative budget.

Only 30 out of the total 60 councillors voted for the New Labour mayor's budget - nine voted against and ten abstained. With local elections coming up and embarrassed by the Socialist alternative budget, even the Labour group's leader and deputy leader abstained.

Just four weeks after leaving New Labour and joining the Socialist Party, councillors Paul and Dave Sutton have already had an impact in the council chamber. Stoke Socialist Party will make sure opposition to New Labour's attacks grows.


Sheffield Socialist Party

Sheffield Socialist Party took to the streets this weekend leafleting for the local elections. Calvin Payne will be standing for us in the election and we will be campaigning mainly on the NHS and on the crisis of the buses.

Colin Wray

It has been recently announced that pensioners will be able to use the buses, rail and tram for free after 9am. This is a significant gain for pensioners and the We Want Our Buses Back campaign has played a role in directing pressure from the general public onto the council and private operators.

Working-class people will have the chance to vote for a candidate that will fight for them. We are not just looking for votes but for people who feel the same way we do about cuts and privatisation and who want to help us change society.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 9 March 2006:

A party for the millions...not the millionaires!

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference, 19 March 2006

A headlong dash to sleaze

Fighting for a socialist future

Stoke: Socialist councillors do their job

Liberal Democrats turn right


International socialist news and analysis

CWI proposals win support

Iraq: end this military adventure

Berlin Left reject unprincipled coalition


Socialist Party workplace news

Fight parasitic job agencies

Strike for pension rights!

What will the Education Bill mean for schools?

University staff strike for pay

Power station pay scandal exposed


 

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Related links:

Stoke:

triangleTo push change we need to be organised - why we joined the Socialist Party

triangleThe Socialist Party and socialist ideas are growing

triangleStoke council unions beat pay cuts - now let's stop all cuts

triangleSelling the Socialist in Stoke

triangleNo more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

Socialist:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: A report from NSSN conference

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The life of Black Panther Fred Hampton

triangleNational finance meeting

triangleQueues at Socialist Party stall in Cov

Socialist Party:

triangleBeth Roper inquest: Train company failures ignored

triangleSocialist Party to the fore at Unison LG conference

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: How can a party for the working class be built?

Council:

triangleBirmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

triangleEnfield byelection: We need councillors prepared to resist

Labour:

triangleMajority of BFAWU members vote to break from Labour

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