Socialist Worker

Nottinghamshire rallies against Tory Sue Cutts’s cuts

by Martin Sleath, Notts Unison (personal capacity)
Issue No. 2225

Workers protested in Nottingham on Thursday of last week  (Pic: Alan Kenny)

Workers protested in Nottingham on Thursday of last week (Pic: Alan Kenny)


Around 1,000 people joined a loud, angry and vibrant demonstration outside Tory-run Nottinghamshire County Council on Thursday of last week against cuts.

Notts Unison union organised the protest.

It came just three days after over 1,000 people protested in Nottingham’s Market Square against cuts of up to 25 percent in the pay of teaching assistants by Labour-run Nottingham City Council.

This forced the council to back down—for the moment at least.

And on Wednesday, around 200 protested in Nottingham against the Tory cuts announced by George Osborne.

Thursday’s demonstration was against budget cuts of £70 million next year, rising to £150 million over the next three years—out of a total budget of £470 million.

These are being implemented by appropriately named Thatcherite Kay Cutts.

Cutts’s cuts will mean slashing day care services, closing mental health day centres, and privatising all elderly persons homes.

She also wants to slash eligibility for home care for elderly and disabled people, and make cuts in the youth and the Connexions careers services.

The intention of the council is clear—to stop providing services itself and become a “commissioner” of privatised services instead.

Clearance

A slogan on the Unison postcard at the event proved very popular. It read, “Mass clearance sale at County Hall: all public services must be sold—apply to Kay Cutts.”

Seven coaches brought people from workplaces around the county, including from Worksop, Mansfield and Ashfield.

There were contingents and banners there from many unions—GMB, CWU, UCU, Unite, NUT, PCS, Unison and the trades council.

There were also contingents from service user and campaign groups.

The rally heard speeches from trade unionists, the Labour group leader Alan Rhodes, and people who use the services.

There was even a speech from Hugo Blanco, veteran Peruvian peasant leader and contemporary of Che Guevara, about the need to overthrow capitalism.

The rally finished with chants of “No ifs, no buts, no cuts,” loud enough to be heard up in the council chamber.

They could also have been heard at a nearby school where David Cameron and Nick Clegg were speaking.

Union members were hugely buoyed by the size of the lobby and were starting to talk about the next steps in the campaign to resist the cuts.

Many recognise that industrial action needs to be on the table.


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Tue 26 Oct 2010, 17:31 BST
Issue No. 2225
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