All Around the UK subcategories:
UK Towns and cities keywords:
Councillors must fight to defend our services
Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell, along with local speakers, addressed a North Cambridgeshire Momentum meeting of over 100 in Peterborough on 21 January.
John spoke of the enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign and of plans to change Labour Party policy and to reverse Tory attacks after the 2020 general election.
From the floor Socialist Party member Joe raised the issue of Labour councillors refusing to make further Tory cuts by means of using councils' reserve funds while preparing a national campaign of opposition.
In his reply John gave a brief history of the former Greater London Council's consideration of refusing to levy a rate in the 1980s under the Thatcher government.
John claimed that councils' chief financial officers could stop what they thought might be unreasonable use of reserves and then take all financial decisions themselves.
However, as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition points out, local authorities can set legal, no-cuts balanced 'people's budgets' using reserves and borrowing.
Joe had also made the point that if Labour councillors were to fight then councillors and communities might win, but if they didn't fight would definitely face massive cuts. Indeed, by 2020 a further 40% government cut on top of existing cuts in councils' budgets would mean there were little or no services left to defend!
A significant section of the meeting supported Joe and around three-quarters of the meeting took leaflets for the 27 January local Socialist Party meeting to develop the discussion. About one in eight at the meeting also bought a copy of the Socialist.
Socialist Party reporters
26 Feb Austerity kills
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: 020 8988 8786
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