Suggested wording on fighting council cuts, December 2020

[Where it seems best to keep motions short, as e.g. when they have to be posted in the chat section of Zoom meetings, a shorter version can be constructed just from the “Resolves” section below.]

Notes:

  1. After a decade of cuts, increased demand, and reduced revenue during the pandemic, local authorities face disaster.
  2. Croydon is now the second council, after Northamptonshire, to invoke Section 114, indicating it will provide only statutory services.
  3. Rishi Sunak has only given councils an extra £3bn – over £5bn less than the (Tory-led) Local Government Association called for as necessary to prevent further cuts, and a billion less than needed to avoid meltdown.

Believes that:

  1. The government is gutting public services, driving down working-class living standards, decimating council housing and destroying meaningful local democracy.
  2. Labour should start an aggressive campaign to halt and reverse this assault.
  3. The costs of Covid-19 should be met by making the rich and corporations pay – not workers and communities.

Resolves to:

  1. Call on the whole party and the leadership to vocally and actively campaign – using our national platform, and involving members, supporters and trade unionists in mass activity – for:
    a. increased central funding for councils to prevent further cuts and job losses, immediately pushing the government for the additional £5bn the LGA has called for
    b. a £10bn annual grant to fund the building of 100,000 council homes a year
    c. a clear timetable to reverse all cuts since 2010, moving towards budgets meeting social needs.
  2. Organise a meeting to discuss local campaigning to stop cuts and win restored funding. Invite a speaker from the trade union campaign against cuts in Croydon. Invite our Labour councillors to take part and consider/discuss how they can help.
  3. Call on councillors to raise these demands in the council, and campaign to win them.
  4. Circulate this motion widely, and make links with campaigners in other areas.

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