Letter: Shameful Swansea Cuts Budget
28th February 2014
Originally sent to the South Wales Evening Post
So Labour councillors are proud of the budget they set last week are they? Well I think they should be ashamed.
As a trade unionist I think they should be ashamed of a budget that includes a threat to the jobs of 173 council workers, an acceptance of the likelihood of compulsory redundancies and the outsourcing of swathes of council services, behind coded words like, “new models of delivery”.
As a parent I think they should be ashamed for taking risks with our children’s health and safety. Despite the much-publicised withdrawing of the immediate threat to getting rid of school crossing patrols, these cuts are still part of the Medium Term Financial Plan, which Labour councillors also voted for. Also in these plans is a proposal to sell off school playing fields, with a list of the schools where this is to happen, including my sons’ school.
As somebody who uses and values council services I think they should be ashamed for passing on Con-Dem cuts to council services. Many of the service cuts that Labour publicly announced they’d withdrawn remain in their medium term plans, including shutting residential care homes and other deep cuts in social services and care.
During the budget debate, Labour councillors taunted their Liberal Democrat opponents that the only difference between Labour’s budget and the opposition’s proposals was just 17p a week more council tax! That totally confirms just how far the Labour Party has sunk.
What is the point of Labour? It seems none at all, if you want to fight to save council jobs and services in Swansea. That’s why I will be helping to build the Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition, with the aim of putting up genuine trade unionists, anti-cuts candidates, in future elections, who will vote no to all cuts.