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Anti-cuts


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From: The Socialist issue 1027, 30 January 2019: Austerity out, Tories out

Search site for keywords: Southampton - Cuts - Council - Budget - Council workers - Socialist Party - Councillors - Anti-cuts

Coxford ward byelection: No to cuts - defend our vital services

Out canvassing for the Socialist Party in Southampton's Coxford ward, January 2019, photo by Nick Chaffey

Out canvassing for the Socialist Party in Southampton's Coxford ward, January 2019, photo by Nick Chaffey   (Click to enlarge)

Following the resignation of independent anti-cuts councillor for Coxford Ward, Keith Morrell, Southampton Socialist Party has selected Sue Atkins to contest the forthcoming byelection. Sue is a longstanding community campaigner and is prominent in the Southampton Fair Funding for Schools campaign.

"I call for Southampton Labour council to implement a no-cuts budget on 20 February, save Glenn Lee and Holcroft House nursing homes, open Kentish Road respite centre 24/7, fully fund our schools, and fight for the restoration of the 136 million stolen by the Tory government since 2010", says Sue.

"We will be told that councillors must be 'responsible'. I agree, but responsible to who? The bankers, the government which is dismantling our local services? Or responsible to the people who elect them, the vulnerable, the hard working, the poor - all of us in our community who rely on the council to protect our badly needed local services.

"That is why I am standing, to continue and build on the principled policies that Keith always stood for."

Southampton Socialist Party supports Southampton council workers and their trade unions - Unite and Unison - which oppose Labour's cuts budget. Head teachers, the NEU education union and parents are also calling on the council to use its powers to defend school budgets. They have our full support.

Anger into action

This mood must be turned into action. A united campaign linking all those affected by cuts in Coxford and across Southampton, including strike action by council workers, can force the right-wing Labour council to withdraw its cuts budget.

The election of Sue Atkins as a champion of such a fightback will help to build pressure on the council and support for an end to cuts in Southampton.

Socialist policies are needed to build affordable council housing for all, re-open youth centres and elderly care homes, fund schools and libraries and restore weekly bin collections.

We live in the sixth-richest country. That wealth should be in the hands of the 99% - not the super-rich1%. Public ownership of the banks and big monopolies could guarantee an end to inequality and deliver services to meet the needs of all.

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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.

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