Leicester Socialist Party has announced it has selected Steve Score, local campaigner, to stand in May's mayoral elections.
Steve chaired the successful Save Glenfield Children's Heart Centre campaign and continues to be involved in local campaigning around defending the NHS. He has a long record in Leicester of fighting government and local cuts in services. He was also the secretary of the local anti-Poll Tax Federation which locally led the struggle to end the local tax introduced by Thatcher in 1990 and resulted in it being scrapped.
Steve Score said: "Over years devastating government cuts have affected councils. But instead of standing up to the government, Leicester's city mayor has been meekly passing on these cuts. At the same time he has instead focused on vanity projects in the city centre.
"The cuts he has made have in particular hit the most vulnerable. When homelessness is rocketing, hostels and homelessness services have been cut and council house building has been almost non-existent. When there has been a dramatic rise in people being forced to go to foodbanks, often because of cuts in benefits, welfare rights services are being cut. Cuts have been made to youth services, family centres, voluntary services, libraries, community centres and many others.
"As a socialist I believe there is an alternative. I would take a stand and refuse to implement any Tory cuts in Leicester by proposing a legal no cuts budget. This is possible if the council used some of its millions of pounds in reserves and borrowing powers to maintain services. This would allow time to build a city wide campaign against cuts and link up with other authorities across the country to force the much needed money from the government. All public services must be taken back in-house by the council.
"People power saved the Glenfield heart centre. Similarly, a massive campaign led by the mayor and councillors could save our services.
"I opposed the city mayoral system when it was brought in without asking the people of Leicester. It centralises too much power into the hands of one person and relegates councillors to mere scrutineers. If I was to be elected I would push for a referendum on the mayoral system by the end of my term of office to try to abolish it.
"We did not stand candidates in the last general election because we support the anti-austerity policies Jeremy Corbyn proposed. However where local Labour councillors and mayors carry through Tory policies we believe we have to make a stand."
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