Socialist Worker

Fury as councils push through further cuts

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2442

Trade union and community campaigners protest in Glasgow

Trade union and community campaigners protest in Glasgow (Pic: Duncan Brown)

As anti-cuts protests took place across Britain last week a nightmare vision of the future of local services came from Northamptonshire.

The county council voted to outsource all services, make £68 million in cuts and transfer almost 4,000 staff to four new bodies. 

The move mirrors the project of Tory-controlled Barnet Council in north London but goes a bit further.

Northamptonshire Tory council leader Jim Harker says the four new bodies “would be free to win contracts with other organisations and generate additional income”.

Meanwhile over 300 trade union and community campaigners protested as Labour-run Glasgow City Council voted through £29 million cuts. 

These included cuts to mental health services, social work funding, housing support for the elderly and education services for children in hospital.

Opposition Scottish National Party councillors proposed an alternative cuts budget less swingeing than Labour’s but would have still cut services.


In other worrying moves, at Labour-run Islington Council in north London a new council trading arm “iCo” has been proposed to sell “marketable” in-house expertise.

Local unions and anti-cuts groups in Islington were set to protest this week against £37 million cuts and 200 redundancies, half of which will be compulsory.

Coventry saw around 250 people march against the Labour-led city council’s proposed cuts last Saturday ahead of a vote this week. Some 1,000 workers face being axed on top of cuts to services and raising council tax. 

At Tory-run Worcestershire County Council workers have rejected attacks on their terms and conditions as part of £25 million cuts a year. 

The Tories want to cut redundancy payments by a third and extend mandatory unpaid leave of three days a year to 2020. 

They also want to slash pay protection for workers who take lesser-paid jobs after a restructure from three years to just 18 months.

And in Milton Keynes Labour’s £22 million cuts budget was rejected by opportunist Tory and Lib Dem councillors but only because Labour never had a majority in the room. 

Another meeting is being convened to ram the cuts through as soon as possible.


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