Protest against cuts to local services
Despite the pouring rain, around 40 people joined the lobby of Coventry Council on Tuesday 13th to challenge councillors over their planned budget cuts. The cuts will mean every service outside the City Centre is under threat of closure – every library, community centre and even public toilets!
Members of unions such as Unite, Unison, NUT and the FBU were represented, as well as Coventry Trades Council. Socialist Party members and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates were also at the lobby.
Dan Crowter, who stood for TUSC in Bablake ward in the 2014 local elections, said “The councillors tell us they’re making these cuts with a heavy heart. Well I’ve got a heavy heart too – but after these cuts and council tax rises, I’ll have a lighter wallet as well.”
Jane Nellist, Branch Secretary of Coventry NUT (personal capacity), attacked the council’s decision to cut libraries, pointing out their importance to the community and also for children as they provide them books and a safe space to read. She ended by saying that “we didn’t create this crisis, we’re not going to pay for it!”
Former Labour MP and Socialist councillor Dave Nellist, national chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, called on the council to use the £81 million they have in reserves and build a campaign against the cuts. He also said the council should be flooded with petitions challenging every service closure so the council know people are opposed to their cuts.
There will be a Coventry Against the Cuts march through the City Centre on February 21st, to put more pressure on the council before the budget vote on the 24th. If, as expected, Coventry’s councillors choose to vote for the planned cuts and decimate our services, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates will stand in every ward across the city to provide an anti-cuts alternative in May.