Why I’m standing for TUSC in Woodlands

Why I’m standing for TUSC in Woodlands

Sarah Smith with other anti bedroom tax campaigners stopping an eviction

Sarah Smith with other anti bedroom tax campaigners stopping an eviction

Our candidate in Woodlands is local campaigner Sarah Smith. Sarah explains below why she is standing as a Socialist candidate


I have been an active supporter of the Save Coventry Libraries campaign since the campaign was set up and I support the campaign to save Woodlands School as well as other local services. I also helped to start Coventry against the Bedroom Tax, working with other campaigners to stop being residents being evicted.

Unlike the local Labour candidate Patricia Hetherton, and other Labour candidates in Coventry, I support Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-austerity policies in words and deeds and I will stand up and fight to save our services against vicious Tory attacks being implemented by the Labour Council.

The trade unions UNITE and UNISON have passed policy that calls on the council to use some of the £84 million of reserves to hold off the cuts, which would buy time for a mass campaign to be built. Do the other candidates also support union policy on this?

While local Labour leaflets carry the headline “Save Our School”, their Councillors supported the establishment of Finham Park 2 which has contributed to the school being threatened with closure! I’m against academies and free schools, and support teachers, parents and pupils who campaign against them.

I am standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) because it’s a true left wing socialist alternative, made up of working class people like me. I will continue to campaign for the people of Coventry, and against the capitalist lie that austerity has to happen.

Live in Woodlands and want to help Sarah? Get in touch by completing the form below!

 

Ann Lucas told – cut cake, not libraries!

Ann Lucas told – cut cake, not libraries!

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Protesters highlighting Lucas’ record of cuts

Library campaigners protested against Cllr Ann Lucas at an event last week. Sarah Smith was one of them, and she wrote this report.

February 10th marked the 30th birthday of Central Library, and the guest of honour at the celebration was Cllr Ann Lucas – leader of Coventry City Council. She proudly cut a cake to celebrate – despite her leading the council that’s cutting our libraries!

All libraries are still threatened with closure, and under the current plans almost all libraries other than Central will be closing on a Wednesday and Sunday, and Central will be closing an hour earlier. Willenhall and Arena library are both being moved to cheaper buildings, 35 library jobs will be cut and the mobile library is being scrapped altogether.

We at Save Coventry Libraries went to the event to tell Ann Lucas to cut the cake but not the libraries. We had a peaceful protest to highlight the hypocrisy of Coventry City Council.We were thanked and supported by a number of people in the audience at the event – and we will carry on fighting for our libraries!

Ann Lucas – cut the cake, not our libraries!

Ann Lucas – cut the cake, not our libraries!

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Ann Lucas – pic from Coventry Telegraph website

Coventry’s brilliant Central Library has now been around for 30 years, and staff and service users will be celebrating its birthday on Wednesday 10th February with a number of events. It’s great that the library has been around for so long – but the future of libraries throughout Coventry is under threat, and one of the people behind the planned cuts will also be cutting the birthday cake.

Libraries campaigner Sarah Smith said “It’s ironic that Cllr Ann Lucas is a guest of honour at Central Library’s 30th birthday and cutting a cake, considering she leads the council that’s voted to cut our libraries. I will be there to represent Save Coventry Libraries, to tell Cllr Lucas that she can cut the cake but not our libraries!”

The next meeting of Save Coventry Libraries is on Monday February 15th, 6pm at Central Library. Join the Facebook page here

 

Over 50 people join lobby of Coventry council

Over 50 people join lobby of Coventry council 

Protesters gather outside the Council House

Protesters gather outside the Council House

Over 50 people joined a lobby of Coventry Council’s first full meeting since being elected on May 7th. The lobby, organised by campaigners from Save Coventry Libraries, saw a petition of over 2200 signatures against the closure of Tile Hill Library handed in by TUSC candidate Sarah Smith.

A number of staff members and service users from the Employment Support Service (TESS) also attended the protest, and spoke passionately about the support TESS provides, both in helping disabled people find employment and giving ongoing assistance at work. Coventry Unison members also attended to show support to members of the community fighting to defend local services.

A number of councillors passed the protesters and some even stopped to listen to what we had to say – unfortunately Foleshill’s Abdul Khan was not one of them, and dismissed service users by stating that TESS “isn’t [his] portfolio”. Despite repeatedly being asked to oppose cuts, none of the councillors committed to voting against further austerity measures proposed by the Labour council.

Many speakers pointed out that one lobby of the council won’t force them to back down, and further action will be needed, such as the protest against Osborne’s austerity budget on July 8th (5.30pm at Broadgate in Coventry). One campaigner stated that if the councillors we’ve got won’t fight back, at the next election we should replace them with some who will.

Lobby Coventry Council – save our services!

Lobby Coventry Council – save our services!

Protestors outside the Council House

Protestors outside the Council House

Anti-cuts campaigners plan to hold a lobby of the first full meeting of Coventry’s newly elected council on June 23rd at 1pm. The groups, such as Save Coventry Libraries, want to continue to put pressure on the council to fight cuts rather than implementing them.

Sarah Smith, a Tile Hill resident who has been campaigning against the closure of her local library, will be handing in a petition of over 2200 signatures against its closure. She said “Libraries provide a crucial service for the people of Coventry, and the thousands of people who have signed this petition and others show how the strength of feeling about them. Rather than closing libraries and cutting jobs, the council should use some of the £81million they have in reserves to fund services and build a campaign to get this money back from central Government.”

Other campaign groups such as Youth Fight for Jobs, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and campaigners against the closure of the Employment Support Service (TESS) will also be joining the lobby. Heidi Crowter, a young TESS user with Down’s Syndrome, said “TESS is fantastic because as well as helping people find employment they help people stay in employment. I think it is really selfish of the council to close this service and shows that they don’t really care about people finding employment. The council shutting this down is making me feel really scared for what the future will hold for me. “