Socialist Worker

Councils need to fight the Tories' demands for cuts - including those run by Labour

Issue No. 2561

Councils across Britain have pushed cuts to key services, including the fire service, in response to less funding

Councils across Britain have pushed cuts to key services, including the fire service, in response to less funding (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Even if councils stopped filling in potholes, maintaining parks and open spaces it wouldn’t be enough to satisfy the Tories’ demand for cuts.

It wouldn’t be enough if they went further and closed all children’s centres, libraries, museums, leisure centres, turned off every street light and shut all discretionary bus routes.

By 2020 councils in England would still face a £6 billion funding gap and lose 75 percent of the government funding they had in 2015. In the five years to 2015 almost 40 percent was cut from an even greater total funding figure.

The Tory plan to starve councils of cash has reshaped how local government is both funded and delivered while spineless councillors make cuts to services.

It means private firms hollow out our services, slash jobs and point the finger elsewhere when they fail. Councillors who outsourced their statutory responsibilities do the same.

Council chiefs now argue the answer is to hike our council tax and retain all business rates collected locally. This is no solution.

For too long Labour councils have balanced their books on the backs of the poor. Or they shamefully dressed their cuts up as being about equality.

It’s about time Labour’s leadership told its councils to protect the working class and launch a national fightback against cuts. That means more than waiting for a Labour government.


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