Archive article from The Socialist Issue 300
Standing Up for Working-Class Communities
AFTER THE local elections on 1 May, Coventry City Council went from being Labour-controlled to no single party having enough seats to be able to form an administration.
The seats broke down as follows: Lab 26, Tory 23, Socialist 3, Liberal Democrat 2. Subsequently, one 'Old Labour' councillor resigned and now sits as an independent.
Socialist Party councillor David Nellist, after discussions with community groups and Coventry trade unionists, sent a letter to the leader of the Labour Group, on behalf of the Socialist Group on the council.
The letter outlined what would be required for Socialist councillors not to oppose Labour's nominees to head a minority administration.
This presented the Labour Group - including Labour councillors who have expressed 'reservations' about Labour's anti-working-class policies - with a choice: to stand against Blair's 'New Tories' or seek support from the other pro-business parties on the council to form an administration.
However the Labour Group did not accept these proposals, preferring to rely instead on the Tories to form an administration.
Here are some extracts from that letter. We hope to publish fuller extracts from the Socialist Group's extensive list of 'minimum' demands later: