“No council cuts are necessary” – Dave Nellist

“No council cuts are necessary” – Dave Nellist 

Dave speaking at Coventry's May Day rally

Dave speaking at Coventry’s May Day rally

This letter about council cuts from former Labour MP and TUSC national chair Dave Nellist was printed in yesterday’s Coventry Telegraph. Read this article if you want more background on the council’s planned cuts and what the Socialist Party would do differently.

“There’s been little coverage, so far, of the 18 contests for city council seats also taking place on May 7. So allow me raise one issue that I think could define those elections.

On April 22 the Telegraph carried the welcome story of a stay of execution for a City Council jobs service which helps some of the most vulnerable people in the city, at least until the end of the year.

This follows earlier decisions to delay for consultation the imminent closure of libraries, and cuts to disabled children’s transport. None of those decisions will now be taken before the election.

But in fact none of those decisions need to be taken at all.

None of the planned cuts to libraries, children’s and family centres, community centres, adult education centres, lollipop men and women, street cleaners and park maintenance are necessary.

Because when the City Council made its decision in February to set a budget including £15 million worth of cuts to the services mentioned above (and another thousand secure jobs lost to young people in the city) it did so on the money it knew at that time it had as income.

But since then we have learned that Wasps RFC is going to re-pay this summer the balance of the £14.4 million council loan, given to the Ricoh management company which Wasps now own. In other words the City Council will have for this year’s budget £14 million more than 3 months ago it thought it would have.

So here’s a question we could ask to every aspiring councillor in the last few days of the campaign: do you agree that the repayment of that £14 million Ricoh loan should be used to save our libraries, lollipop men and women, disabled children’s transport, jobs service for the most vulnerable and the other services under threat?

Yours sincerely,

Dave Nellist
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition”

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TUSC candidates sign 38 Degrees NHS pledge

TUSC candidates sign 38 Degrees NHS pledge 

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38 Degrees campaigners with election candidates including from TUSC

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates attended an event organised by the 38 Degrees campaign against the privatisation of the NHS. Despite Labour’s claim to oppose privatisation, no Labour candidates turned up – nor did any Tories, Lib Dems or UKIP.

The TUSC candidate for Foleshill, Jim Hensman, said “Labour thinks private companies in the NHS should be allowed to make 5% profit – that’s not good enough. TUSC would kick all private companies out of the NHS, and have a fully publicly owned National Health Service, free at the point of use.”

Despite TUSC’s support of 38 Degrees’ stance on a number of issues, including opposing TTIP and NHS privatisation, 38 Degrees have unfortunately refused to include TUSC on their “Vote Match” quiz which shows people which party they most agree with on some issues. This is particularly disappointing given the policies and campaigns of TUSC.

We applaud the work of 38 Degrees for the work they have done in raising awareness of a number of issues, and the local activists from 38 Degrees who work hard to promote some excellent causes, and we will continue to support this where we can. We urge 38 Degrees nationally to start including TUSC in their election campaign – after all, we are standing over 800 candidates in the local and general elections!

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Dave Nellist congratulates local residents on securing Charterhouse lottery funding

Dave Nellist congratulates local residents on securing Charterhouse lottery funding

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Dave addressing a rally of local residents campaigning to save the fields

Former Coventry Socialist councillor Dave Nellist had this letter published in the Coventry Telegraph this week congratulating Charterhouse residents on securing the future of The Charterhouse and Charterhouse Park. Dave represented St Michaels ward, which includes Charterhouse, on Coventry Council and was heavily involved in the residents campaign to keep the area a public space.

“The announcement of multi-million pound funding for The Charterhouse and Charterhouse Park is a wonderful success for the preservation trust, and all credit must go to them.

But equally so major recognition must be given to the years and years of work of local residents to preserve the area as a public park, which made everything possible.

Without over 40 years of campaigning to preserve public access to the land, we would not be in the position today to see the development of one of Coventry’s major historical sites married to an extension of public space for all communities to enjoy.

In particular the many hundreds of local residents whose active involvement in the Village Green application in 2011 both highlighted continual community use, drew attention to the historic nature of the land, and prevented pre-emptive plans to block access. Without them we wouldn’t be here now on the cusp of a great new park for Coventry.

Without the work of the local residents’ association kicking up a fuss when the former owner of the Charterhouse building put it up for sale this special piece of history could have been lost.

To those who tell local communities that protest, campaigns and active involvement in their areas are pointless and can never win, we can now point to The Charterhouse as living proof that when local residents get organised, things can really happen.

Now let’s do the same for our city’s libraries, community centres, children and family centres, and centres for adult education!”