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From: The Socialist issue 1045, 5 June 2019: Tories deny dire poverty ...look around you! Boot out the Tories

Search site for keywords: Worcester - Libraries - Council - Library - Cuts - Worcestershire

Worcester libraries campaign victory

Campaigning to save Worcester libraries

Campaigning to save Worcester libraries   (Click to enlarge)

Sean McCauley, Worcestershire Socialist Party

We have won! Money has been found to secure the future of St John's as well as Warndon libraries in Worcester. This is a victory for all those who have campaigned hard to save the library service in the area.

It shows that when we make a stand we can force our councillors to listen and to act. Socialist Party members in the city have led a vibrant and well supported campaign in St John's. The county council now appears to have negotiated a deal with the city council for the latter to help fund each city library to the tune of 157,000.

This is welcome news if it proves to be the case that everything we have been calling for is guaranteed. We still want to check with our fellow campaigners in Unison, the local government union, that there will be absolutely no cuts in the hours worked by staff at these libraries, no redundancies or restructuring to the detriment of the staff.

We also still want to check that there will be no reductions in opening hours, no additions of unstaffed opening hours and no backdoor privatisation through alternative private means of funding.

Fight all cuts

The campaign to guarantee the long term future of library services in the city and indeed across the whole of the county is not over.

Make no mistake, in the future both councils will once more come to try to cut this service. We must be vigilant. There is only one sure-fire way to guarantee services and that is to mobilise local communities, as well as council workers, to fight austerity. We need councillors who truly represent our needs and we need fighting unions.

We demand an increase, not a decrease in funding in order to begin to put right a decade of cuts and we demand better services now. This year, however, we will see a 3.99% increase in council tax for a decidedly worse service.

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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.
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