Salford Against The Cuts has written to Salford Mayor Ian Stewart, asking for an undertaking that he will defend services and residents of the city. If he agrees, people will know where Ian Stewart is coming from. If he doesn't, people will know where he's going to…
Here's the full letter, sent yesterday 13th June. We can't wait for his reply!
I have been asked to send you this letter on behalf of Salford Against the Cuts – a campaign that was set up in November 2010 to fight against attacks on jobs and public services in Salford.
Firstly can I congratulate on your recent election as Mayor of Salford. You will be aware that working people in this city have already suffered greatly from cuts and unemployment created by the Con Dem government and that as a result there are huge expectations of what you will be able to achieve in defending and representing them.
We welcome your engagement with the trade union movement and willingness to address the recent May Day event in Salford. However we feel we must press you on certain key issues affecting many residents of Salford:
1) Will you give an undertaking that the day centres for the elderly and disabled, reprieved in February, will remain open after the 12 month review under direct management by the Council and there will be no additional charges to users? Could you further give an undertaking that the transport charges currently in application that make it difficult for many users to visit the centres will be scrapped?
2) Given the acute lack of social housing in the city will you give an undertaking that no more council houses will be demolished to make way for private developments? Can you give a further commitment that the properties currently managed by Salix Homes will be taken under direct Council management, as carried out by a number of other Labour authorities?
3) Will you call a halt to the apparently bottomless loans / grants to organisations such as the MediaCityUK, Salford Reds, Port Salford etc, most of which have little if any positive impact on the lives of ordinary Salfordians and which largely seem to benefit Peel Holdings?
4) Will you call a halt to the further privatisation/outsourcing of council services, which has taken place to the detriment of service users' and trade union members' rights, and begin a process of taking privatised or so-called arms length services back under the council's control?
5) Will you commit to protecting and maintaining levels of funding for publicly-provided advice services currently under threat in Salford, considering their importance at a time of huge changes in the welfare state?
6) Will you commit to protecting and improving youth services, so important at a time of high youth unemployment?
7) We are aware that Salford City College are still paying Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in line with the same criteria as the Government were before it was withdrawn. Would you be prepared for the Council to cover this if Salford City College's circumstances change?
8) Given that the Health and Social Care Act threatens privatisation of large areas of the NHS, would you be prepared to campaign against the break-up of the NHS in Salford? Would you hold a referendum over whether or not the population support privatisation in the NHS, as a step towards a mass campaign to defend our health service in Salford?
9) Will you give an assurance, as recently given by Bury Labour Council that Academies, Trust Schools and Free Schools will be opposed in all forms ? Would you be prepared to work with parents, trade unions, communities and the Anti-Academies Alliance to oppose them?
10) Will you meet with Salford University staff who are currently in dispute with the University over proposals to cut jobs and offer them your support with that dispute? Specifically, would you be prepared to speak at a meeting organised by the unions at the University and join them on their picket lines if and when they take strike action?
We await your reply with keen interest and in the hope that Labour in Salford will take a new turn.
Vice Chair, Salford Against the Cuts
Photo by Gareth Lyons