Socialist Worker

Opposition pushes back Salford nursery cuts plan

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2593

Under pressure: Salford’s  Labour mayor Paul Dennett (right)

Under pressure: Salford’s Labour mayor Paul Dennett (right)

A controversial consultation on closing all five council-run nurseries in Salford, Greater Manchester, has been postponed following public opposition.

Labour-run Salford council says it needs another £1.5 million to keep the nurseries running.

A consultation on the nursery closures was due to begin on 28 February.

Now a joint campaign between parents, trade unionists and Labour councillors will be launched instead.

But Salford mayor Paul Dennett said the consultation would only be postponed for one month to give the campaign an opportunity to lobby the Tories.

There’s no certainty about what happens after that.

Closure would mean a loss of over 100 nursery jobs. 350 children would need to find alternative childcare.

Parents and workers are organising to defend their nurseries, and have set up a campaign for each one.

They plan a demonstration in Salford. Local Labour MP Rebecca Long-Bailey has invited campaigners to lobby the Tories in parliament.

Salford Unison union treasurer Ameen Hadi said, “It’s a big task taking on the government and we need to mobilise everyone behind this campaign.

“We’re going to keep the campaign going until the consultation is not just postponed but withdrawn.”

Salford council should call off the consultation, guarantee the nurseries’ future, and demand the Tories pay up.

Poverty for millions in Britain

Workers face serious rises in inequality unless trade unions start a real fightback.

A report from the Resolution Foundation last week warned that cuts to working-age benefits are damaging the future for

8 million low and middle-income households.

The rollout of £14 billion of welfare attacks far outweighs any gain from small increases in the minimum wage.

Torsten Bell, the think tank’s director, said, “This parliament risks seeing the first sustained rise in income inequality since the 1980s.

Adam Corlett, a senior economic analyst at the foundation, said, “2017 was a disastrous year for living standards, as inflation caused pay packets to shrink and made the cash freeze in working?age benefits bite harder.

British workers’ living standards have fallen on average as prices rose faster than wages in the six years from 2008. After a brief respite in 2015 and 2016, falling real pay returned in 2017.

Local government workers in England and Wales are voting on whether to accept a below-inflation pay offer for the next two years. The ballot closes on 9 March. They should reject it and push for strikes.

Teachers in the EIS union in Scotland are calling for a 10 percent rise.

It’s time for action on pay

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