The Socialist

The Socialist 10 February 2016

Fight council cuts!

The Socialist issue 888

Fight council cuts!

Tories bankrupting NHS

Defiant mood as junior doctors demonstrate

Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts

Cushy government job for Amazon boss

'Pro-rape' anti-feminist Roosh V humiliated

Liverpool fans walk out against ticket price hikes

Them & Us


Mental health: system in crisis

Mental health: My battle for the help I needed


Cameron's EU renegotiation charade

Don't give money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!


Lack of strategy and exclusions threaten Momentum

Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum

Labour right wing blocks call to debate budget cuts


No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

Local government union backs no-cuts council budgets

Big victory at Small Heath School against academy attack

Cuts to premiums mean no 'rise' in store for Tesco workers

Leicester taxi dispute: Labour's rank hypocrisy

South London: Library workers strike to save services

Continued action in crane drivers' pay dispute

Workplace news in brief


Portsmouth: support for anti-austerity stand

Leeds meeting expresses Corbyn and McDonnell's contradictions

Socialist Party members inspired by conference

Torbay: "A tale of two towns"

Anger against plans to close Bradford libraries

NHS campaign gains support


Sanders' socialist message rattling the establishment

US elections: Clinton coins it

International news in brief

 
 
 
 
 

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Local government union backs no-cuts council budgets

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The trade union representing the majority of local government workers today called on councils not to implement the latest round of cuts to jobs and services.

The vote on Unison's local government service group executive (SGE) called on councils to use their reserves and prudential borrowing powers to plug the gap left by cuts in funding from central government.

This follows a similar vote by local government workers organised in general union Unite. Supporters of the no-cuts position see this as a temporary measure to buy time while councils build up a mass campaign to win back funding from central government to fund public services.

The move by local government unions in favour of legal no-cuts budgets comes at a time when councils are facing huge cuts in funding from central government. This year alone the cut amounts to 37% while cuts amounting to 75% are in store by 2018.

Socialist Party member Mike Forster, a member of the local government SGE from Yorkshire, moved the proposal. He said of the decision:

"This was the most serious debate of our meeting, as the executive weighed up the huge crisis facing local government workers and services.

"We need now to approach the leadership of the Labour Party, together with Unite, to demand that they join Britain's two largest public sector unions in resisting these cuts all the way."


The motion passed at the SGE:

This SGE notes that
  • English councils control 114 billion
  • The combined budgets of the 58 Labour-led councils standing in the May elections come to 32.7 billion
  • They hold around 4.5 billion in general fund reserves and another 1.36 billion in housing revenue account and capital receipt reserves
  • This does not include the vast reserves held by Labour-controlled councils in London
  • There is no legal impediment stopping Labour councils pooling reserves
  • Local authorities have significant borrowing powers. This includes "prudential" borrowing (unsupported borrowing) alongside capital borrowing. Local authorities have and continue to use these powers
  • Under the Localism Act 2011, local authorities have a "power of competence" to do "anything apart from that which is prohibited"
  • Even with the above procedural points, a campaign is needed to unite service users, communities and trade unions in a fight against the Tories to protect local government
  • The factors above show that councillors do in fact have options
This SGE therefore agrees:
  • To call on Labour, Plaid Cymru and SNP councils to set legal no-cuts budgets, use reserves, capitalise eligible general fund expenditure and borrow prudentially to generate resources so that no council need make cuts. These are short-term measures to buy time to build a national campaign
  • That the financial measures must be combined with a national campaign, linking councils, trade unions and communities in a fight against the Tories' austerity programme
  • To call on the union's political officers and department to prepare a strategy to take the points in this motion forward

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 5 February 2016 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.


In this issue


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight council cuts!

Tories bankrupting NHS

Defiant mood as junior doctors demonstrate

Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts

Cushy government job for Amazon boss

'Pro-rape' anti-feminist Roosh V humiliated

Liverpool fans walk out against ticket price hikes

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Mental health: system in crisis

Mental health: My battle for the help I needed


What we think

Cameron's EU renegotiation charade

Don't give money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!


Momentum, Labour and the Socialist Party

Lack of strategy and exclusions threaten Momentum

Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum

Labour right wing blocks call to debate budget cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

Local government union backs no-cuts council budgets

Big victory at Small Heath School against academy attack

Cuts to premiums mean no 'rise' in store for Tesco workers

Leicester taxi dispute: Labour's rank hypocrisy

South London: Library workers strike to save services

Continued action in crane drivers' pay dispute

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Portsmouth: support for anti-austerity stand

Leeds meeting expresses Corbyn and McDonnell's contradictions

Socialist Party members inspired by conference

Torbay: "A tale of two towns"

Anger against plans to close Bradford libraries

NHS campaign gains support


International socialist news and analysis

Sanders' socialist message rattling the establishment

US elections: Clinton coins it

International news in brief


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 February 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

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