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SALFORD AGAINST THE CUTS MEETING
 

Star date: 26th January 2011 

COUNCILLOR BILL HINDS `A BROKEN MAN'

"You can't pretend that £49million of cuts won't affect people – it will devastate this city" Steve North

Salford Councillor Bill Hinds was described as "looking like a broken man", and the Council's Cabinet members had "tears in their eyes" after making decisions on £40million+ worth of cuts to the city's budget.

This is how Labour Party members described their colleagues at last night's Salford Against The Cuts meeting.

Those who attended the meeting voted to "oppose all cuts" but stopped short of calling on Salford Council to set an illegal budget.

Full details here…


"We do not believe ordinary people should suffer for the greed of the bankers or the desires of politicians who support a system that allows a few to become incredibly wealthy at the expense of everybody else…"   
Salford Against The Cuts Statement

Salford's Labour Party members talked of Council Cabinet members with "tears in their eyes", and of Councillor Bill Hinds being "a broken man" at an open meeting of Salford Against The Cuts last night.

The meeting, held at Salford Arts Theatre, was to decide on the campaign's tactics in opposing the ConDem Government's public spending cuts which Salford's Labour Council will have to impose after March this year.

Advocating an illegal budget based on the needs of the community rather than the needs of Government spending cuts, Steve North argued that Salford Council should take the lead in refusing to impose the cuts… "Somebody has to go first and do this, so why not Salford? Half our children are already living in poverty, what have we go to lose?"

Opposing this move, Alex Halligan argued that to take such a stand would "not be in the interest of Salford people" and would alienate swathes of trade union and Labour Party supporters.

Attendees at the meeting heard speakers talk of 900 redundancies at the City Council, homeless shelters being shut, libraries closed down and services decimated…

"I don't think that the penny's dropped with Salford people yet" said one speaker "Salford can't cope with its problems as it is, and if the Council is prepared to push these cuts through councillors will have blood on their hands, never mind tears in their eyes..."

Others spoke of Government commissioners coming into the city and forcing the cuts through if Salford Council refused to do it.

The meeting eventually decided against calling on Salford Council to set an illegal budget but did pass a statement to be sent to the Council noting that…

"Salford Against The Cuts is opposed to all cuts and will campaign against any attacks on jobs or services. We do not believe ordinary people should suffer for the greed of the bankers or the desires of politicians who support a system that allows a few to become incredibly wealthy at the expense of everybody else…"

The campaign called on Salford City Council to:

• Provide financial and practical support for the TUC Demo for Jobs, Growth and Justice on March 26th
• Defend Housing Rights
• Extend support and assistance for services such as Salford Welfare Rights and Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre so that those who suffer as a result of the cuts in the welfare state are able to properly challenge any decisions
• Provide renewed support for the Keep Hope Maternity Open campaign.


The meeting also sent a message of support to Connexions workers, who provide  career advice to young people and face a 46.5% cut to their budget including the possibility of 28 job losses.


 

R. ALLEN wrote
at 11:02:58 on 31 January 2011
I ATTENDED THIS MEETING AND ALSO THE DEMO AT COUNCIL MEETING, WHAT BOTHERS ME MOST IS THAT NEARLY ALL THE PEOPLE PRESENT WERE EITHER COUNCIL WORKERS OR ASSOCIATES, I ASK THE PEOPLE OF SALFORD TO SUPPORT THE MEETINGS AND SUPPORT THE AGAINST THE CUTS MOVEMENT WHICH WAS SET UP TO DEFEND THE COMMUNITYS DONT RELY ON OTHERS TO FIGHT FOR YOU JOIN IN AND STAND UP FOR FUTURE
 
Dave Adenough wrote
at 19:39:45 on 29 January 2011
I work at Salford council. There is no leadership from the fat cat chief executive and her merry band of directors all of whom are high earners. Not one has suggested they themselves take a pay cut. There is no direction, no visibility of Spicer (when she comes to a meeting its all bullshit no substance), grandiose ideas and no delivery. As for elecetde members its a pensioners club who top up their state pensions with expenses. They for example still want to spend £70, 0000 per year on the town hall lawns, stil are having buffets and junkets! I despair daily!!
 
Life is loud wrote
at 20:10:40 on 28 January 2011
Why has it come to this because people did not vote in the General Election and were apathetic as long as it does not affect my benefits well it will and some defected to other parties why I dont know. When will people get it into their heads that the Tory party is only ever for the rich. They are not bothered about Salford the council are being held to ransom and who wants to be a councillor these days when the ones we have now will retire due to stress noone wants the job especially the young people. The Tory government dont like Labour councils.
 
Welfare Rights wrote
at 07:32:22 on 27 January 2011
The Welfare Rights and Debt Advice Service is facing £300k cuts over the next few years thanks to these jackals at the council, and that's the not to mention the already mooted withdrawal of essential car user allowances and car parking charges - i.e. another pay cut. That's not all - we could face 'restructuring' whereby we end up being absorbed into the call centre and thereby face further massive pay cuts. If more people are going to need help, there'll be less people to help them...
 
Steven North wrote
at 20:34:18 on 26 January 2011
Great article as usual. It was a good debate last night. You're correct in saying that it was I (on behalf of Salford Socialist Party) who proposed that the Council should sit down with trade unions, community groups, service user groups and members of the public to draw up a needs budget and to fight with those groups for the return of the £49 million that has been stolen from us. Those of us supporting that position feel that there is no way of mitigating the impact of these cuts, and that they must simply be opposed. It's good to have these debates at public meetings, and you don't always win the argument. That's democracy, and that what we have always wanted this campaign to be about. I'm still proud to have been elected Secretary and I'm looking forward to our follow up meeting next week to work out the next steps we'll be taking to fight against the impact of these cuts. We're still opposed to all cuts and will stand with anyone who will suffer as a result of them. The next job in my view is to get out into the communities and build this campaign. Alongside that we will be looking at transport and publicity for the TUC Demo on 26th March. Watch this space folks....
 
G.Griffiths wrote
at 10:44:16 on 26 January 2011
That first paragraph----it,s pretty much what has been happening for years in Salford, with people losing their homes and being poorly compensated, so the council,s partners can fill their bulldozer buckets with cash.
 
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