‘My eight years as an elected councillor in Preston came to an end last week. I got 39 percent of the vote, but lost by just over 100 votes.
In the end we just couldn’t hold off the national swing to Labour.
I was inundated with emails, texts and Facebook messages of thanks and support after the result.
That made me feel very proud to have been an SWP councillor.
We have a lot to be proud of over the last eight years.
We used the council chamber to raise issues including the defence of jobs and opposition to service cuts and privatisation.
The council passed motions on environmental policy and the expansion of public transport.
We narrowly failed to twin Preston with Nablus in Palestine and passed a motion condemning Israel’s attack on Gaza.
We have done all this while undertaking case-work and initiating local campaigns.
Labour took control in Preston. It portrayed itself as the anti-cuts party.
But it is clear that it will implement cuts to vital local services.
We need to stand together to oppose every cut, job loss and any attempt at privatisation.
We must work with Labour councillors wherever they share these aims.
But we must also build a movement that will oppose any politician who attempts to implement cuts.
I have made many friends in the local community and trade union movement during my time as a councillor.
I know that we will be marching and campaigning together in the weeks and months ahead against council and government cuts.’