Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 January 2009

Socialist councillor opposes Tory plans for education privatisation

Last week's Kirklees council meeting brought in a new Liberal/Labour coalition administration after a vote of 'no confidence' in the ruling minority Tory cabinet took place.

Jackie Grunsell, Save Huddersfield NHS councillor

The vote was the culmination of months of debate over plans to reconfigure schools in North Kirklees, under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. This promised large sums of money to improve schools but the Tories' plans also involved school closures and mergers and an academy school in the area.

Save our school: one of the many protests against the Tory plans, photo by Yorkshire SP

Save our school: one of the many protests against the Tory plans, photo by Yorkshire SP

Particularly controversial was the plan to build a new high school in the ward of the Tory leader of the council, where there had previously been none. This would have created a new school predominantly for white children in a relatively wealthy area, from where many children would previously have gone to a school in nearby Batley, which has a majority of asian pupils from more deprived parts of Kirklees.

The plans have set one community against another in a fight for resources, in a part of the borough already struggling to manage tensions and divisions between communities. Since September, council meetings have been packed with up to 200 members of the public coming to lobby and hear the debate. Meetings of outraged parents, staff and pupils have taken place in just about every affected part of the borough.

The Tories, in a desperate attempt to absolve themselves of responsibility, even called for a referendum on the issue, but those wanting to participate would have to register to vote! There was never genuine consultation with the public about what they wanted.

In order to get the vote of 'no confidence', Labour and Liberals needed a two-thirds majority vote.

With all the Labour, Liberal and Green councillors present they still needed one more vote to remove the Tory administration and were forced to ask for my support (I am a Socialist Party member who was elected in 2006 to the council for Save Huddersfield NHS).

As a result of discussion before the vote it appears that the new Lib/Lab proposals will no longer contain plans for an academy, although final plans are yet to be drawn up.

They have also given a commitment to discuss plans with trade unions representing staff in the affected school. On the basis of these expected changes, I voted to bring down the Tory administration.

Socialist Party members however are under no illusion that the new administration will be significantly different to the last; in a period of economic crisis they will come under pressure to make cuts in services and jobs.

But this episode shows how even just one socialist councillor can help the campaign for the retention of comprehensive and community education in Kirklees, and strike a blow against privatisation and closures.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 28 January 2009:


Defend jobs and services

Era of illusions in capitalism ending

The crisis in manufacturing: Fighting for jobs and living standards

No pay discrimination against young people

Ferengi dealers

Slaughter in Gaza

Coventry protest over Gaza onslaught

Israel: Thousands march in Jaffa against Gaza massacre

Students' angry sit-ins


Stop the racist BNP

Stop the deportation of Yahya Al-Faifi

Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist councillor opposes Tory plans for education privatisation

Labour's abandoning of the working class

Croydon: Striking against academies

Scotland: Step up opposition to cuts

Fast News

Socialist Party workplace news

Fighting council cuts

Say 'no' to the Metro privateers

Amicus Unity Gazette left with egg on its face

Unison right wing exposed

Victory for left in Glasgow Unison

Solid support for Glasgow strike

Building a fighting Unison leadership


Build a mass movement for free education

Save our school!

Marxist analysis: history

Germany 1919 The Spartacist uprising

International socialist news and analysis

Russia: Bosses sack auto-factory union leader

Courageous socialist activist, campaigning journalist and human rights activist

Socialist Party news

Obituary - Barry Malone

Socialist Party reviews

A People's History of Sports in the United States

The Reader


Home   |   The Socialist 28 January 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleJohnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

trianglePay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

triangleNo 'back to school' until outbreak is under control and trade union agreed safety arrangements

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Education and exams

triangleSchools: union oversight needed to end chaos in provision under coronavirus


triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Was the Coronavirus pandemic inevitable?

triangleWe need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis


triangleNHS supply chain worker: privatisation has cut equipment quantity and quality

triangleUnder the microscope: socialist coronavirus news in brief

triangleChildren need intensive care? We don't care!


triangleSchools aren't safe

triangleEerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!


triangleKirklees: Labour and Green councillors refuse to fight the cuts


triangleHull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

Jackie Grunsell:

triangleTories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis



Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan



Schools aren't safe



Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant



Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation



Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!



No return to unsafe construction sites



Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20


Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts



Postal workers' action results in double victory for union



Organising to fight for workplace safety



Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive



Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections



Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue



Trades council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020