Party wants more robust strategy against austerity
The following piece is a press release sent to the local media regarding the local elections in Coventry on May 2nd, 2019. If you agree with us, please fill in the form at the bottom to get involved. You are also invited to our public meetings, see details at the end!
‘Socialist Alternative’ is the electoral name of the city’s Socialist Party. The party is fielding 3 candidates in the local elections: in St Michaels, Lower Stoke and Radford wards.
Party spokesperson, and candidate in St Michaels, Dave Nellist, the former Labour MP, claims that the Conservative government has cut £120 million a year from the city’s budget. He argues that this has exacerbated austerity.
“Coventry was once the richest working-class city in Britain, now we have thousands of people relying on foodbanks, and people sleeping in shop doorways in the city centre”, he says. “Essential services such as libraries and youth clubs are underfunded, under threat or closed.”
Good quality, affordable housing
Many people find it hard to get good quality, affordable housing in Coventry, according to Mr Nellist.
“The Socialist Party wants more public housing in the city. The two universities ‘dash for growth’, particularly with city centre student tower blocks, is leaving local people behind. And for many debt laden students they face exorbitant rents to make large profits for developers.”
Compulsory register of landlords
“Neighbourhoods are being blighted by changing housing ownership and use”, declares the former socialist city councillor. We urgently need a compulsory register of private landlords so that housing conditions and fly tipping can be tackled.”
Opposition to PFI
The Socialist Party organised the main opposition to the PFI financing of University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and has collected thousands of signatures against what it describes as “rip-off” car parking charges at Walsgrave.
Mr Nellist said: “The car parking charges at the hospital, and the profit made by the private company that collects them, are a national scandal. It’s a tax on ill-health and should be abolished immediately”.
Lack of serious strategy to challenge austerity
The Socialist Party complains that the Council says it has no choice but to implement “savings” but has managed to find millions of pounds to invest in Coombe Abbey hotel or loan to student developers. It further alleges that the Council has lost millions of pounds by not using a national levy to charge developers of student accommodation.
The Socialist Party wants Coventry Council to:
- adopt a legal no cuts budget;
- freeze council tax and abandon planned cuts in council staff, pay and conditions.
- oppose new charges for museums and sports facilities;
- use council reserves to offset next year’s cuts and future cuts planned in areas such as children’s services;
- link up with other local authorities to campaign for restoration of government funding;
- call on Labour leaders to pledge to reimburse reserves spent, or borrowing undertaken, defending local communities in this way.
Not afraid to put Brexit into its local campaigning
Mr Nellist said: “I helped Tony Benn organise the “No” vote in 1975, and socialists campaigned for a leave vote in 2016. In our campaign we are calling for a Brexit that benefits workers, putting the millions ahead of the millionaires.”
“Neither remaining in, or aligned to, the EU – nor a Tory pro-big business Brexit – will provide a solution to austerity and privatisation. For that we need a change of government, major re-funding for local councils, and socialist public ownership.”
Opportunity to widen the political debate
“We are the sixth richest country in the world, yet our schools and hospitals lack the resources they need. Something is not right!”
“In this election we hope to widen the political debate and convince more people that socialist planning in the interests of the majority, not the fat cats at the top, could mean that we can both protect our environment and ensure everyone has a decent life”, he ends.
Socialist Alternative candidates:
St Michaels – Dave Nellist
Radford – Isla Boadle
Lower Stoke – Terri Hersey
Details of election public meetings – all welcome!
Austerity deepening, Tories in Brexit crisis – we need a voice for working class people!
Monday 29th April, 7.30pm Jubilee Crescent Community Centre, CV6 3EX
Tuesday 30th April, 7.30pm, Humber Pub, Humber Road, CV3 1BA
If you agree, fill in the form below to get involved!
Published by Dave Nellist, Coundon Road, CV1 4AR