Socialist Worker

Revolt as Manchester wields big axe

by Mark Krantz
Issue No. 2238

Manchester council is closing five libraries, three leisure centres, two swimming pools and potentially dozens of youth centres and nurseries, it announced on Tuesday.

The council, thought to be one of the hardest hit by the cuts, is axing 2,000 jobs.

All the city’s public toilets will be closed except one—and there will be no overnight street cleaning.

Bin collections will go from weekly to fortnightly.

Housing for more than 300 vulnerable families will be scrapped.

Old people who used to get free transport will be given the number for a taxi instead.

The city’s 36 SureStart nurseries and 20 youth centres will close unless “volunteers” can be found to run them.

“Why should Manchester, which has many of the poorest wards in the country, face the biggest cuts?” asked Charlotte Smith from Levenshulme.

“On Saturday we will be petitioning in the local precinct with our Labour councillors. We have set up a local anti-cuts meeting.

“Councillors don’t see any alternative to the cuts, but mass protests will show them that people want to see a fight against the Tories.”

“We have got no choice but to fight,” added John, who is a bin worker.

“Big Society! Big Revolt! That is what we need.”

Manchester Coalition Against the Cuts has organised a public meeting on 22 February and a march against the cuts on 5 March—days before the council makes its final d ecision.

Already the local Education Activist Network and lecturers’ UCU union are backing the protest.


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News
Tue 8 Feb 2011, 17:25 GMT
Issue No. 2238
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