No to the #Bristol #CouncilCuts! #Tories Out Saturday 27th of August

No to the #Bristol #CouncilCuts! #Tories Out  Saturday 27th of August
Job cuts bristol post

Screen shot Bristol Post article 22/08/2016

Join this Emergency Protest following the announcement from the Mayor and council on Monday of an awful £29 million – 1000 council jobs and 17% of all staff – to be cut by spring 2017, due to cuts in central (Tory) government funding!

Hundreds of jobs are planned to go by the end of September.

Services which would inevitably be hit in a big way are *** social care for vulnerable adults, older people and children and families ***.

So join us on the streets on Saturday to make it clear that Bristol simply will not take these cuts from the Tory government any more!!

 

Bristol's Mayor George Ferguson joins hands with members of the Rainbow Group outside City Hall.

Bristol’s Mayor George Ferguson joins hands with members of the Rainbow Group outside City Hall. Front three L-R: Martin Spellacey (Co-ordinator Friends of Rainbow), Bristol Mayor George Ferguson and Amy Mosley (Co-ordinator Friends of Rainbow). Date:14/05/2014 Photographer: Dave Betts/Freelance. Reporter:

This is not a one-off. There are other Cabinet and Council meetings planned for the weeks ahead, and we need to take to the streets again and again to make our opposition and demands for a stand on fair funding (reversing austerity) felt.

After years of cuts of tens of £millions from the council budget (which have all damaged lives), there is no question now that these cuts will be eating into what anyone would call ‘essential’ services, and will have dramatic consequences for our city, undoubtedly costing lives.

We also demand that the leadership of the city take a strong stand, alongside other city leaders, in calling out and making serious demands of central government over these devastating cuts that disproportionately affect poorer communities and vulnerable people and are seriously damaging the services we all need.

Action called by Bristol People’s Assembly and Unite the Union.

There is also a national ‘Tories Out: Austerity Has Failed’ Demonstration at the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham on October 2nd where we can also escalate our action: bristol2toryconf2016.eventbrite.co.uk

NEIN CUTS

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Demand a Mayor Against Austerity (and Council too)!

Bristol's Mayor George Ferguson joins hands with members of the Rainbow Group outside City Hall.

Bristol’s Mayor George Ferguson joins hands with members of the Rainbow Group outside City Hall. Front three L-R: Martin Spellacey (Co-ordinator Friends of Rainbow), Bristol Mayor George Ferguson and Amy Mosley (Co-ordinator Friends of Rainbow). Date:14/05/2014 Photographer: Dave Betts/Freelance. Reporter:

At the beginning of April, Bristol City Council released a very important report (with a very dull-sounding name). This was the report of the council department charged with implementing its ‘efficiency program’ (read ‘cuts’), ‘The Change Board’; its 6-monthly progress report. Buried towards the end of its fairly opaque, jargonistic pages were its predictions on the scale of future cuts to our city.

‘The current modelling suggest that an additional £75.3m will need to be saved by the end of 2019/20’

On top of the almost £90m cut so far, this will have reduced council budgets by almost 80% since 2010.

Cuts of 80% cannot be implemented without triggering the widespread failure of essential frontline services. The compilers of the report itself know this. As they said: –

‘We stated in the last report that “inevitably a time will come when the drive for efficiency within the Council starts to yield decreeing returns”…. It should be acknowledged that this time is with us now

‘It has been a cornerstone of the programme that we will do all that can be done to avoid cutting frontline services and whilst that continues to be the case, the challenge is increasing’

In a report that emphasised the virtue of ‘optimising’ and ‘modernising’ council services as seemingly the only impulse behind the councils ‘restructuring’, and that makes no mention of funding cuts, this is strong stuff.

*** These cuts are the most significant challenge our city and its citizens face over the next 4 years.

They will fundamentally alter local government as we know it. ***

We mean to put these cuts back at the forefront of the agenda in the current Mayoral and local electoral debate that instead has been trivialised by focused on parking zones, 20 mph speed limits, and the personal rivalries of opposing candidates.

>>> We’re also asking you to challenge all of the main candidates on how they will respond to these £75m CUTS, and whether they are really willing to stand up for Bristol’s people against austerity.  Whether that be by email (we will be trying this ourselves), at hustings, or otherwise.

Over the coming months, and years (if the Tory government lasts that long), we will be building the local resistance (working with local trades unions and other local campaigns) to stop these cuts and protect the services that we rely upon. Only a massive mobilisation of ordinary people in Bristol on the streets can save our city.

But to make that job easier for us, we need to use these elections to get the most anti-austerity council possible.

None of the candidates for Mayor likely to get elected has adopted the all out anti-cuts, pro-‘needs budget’ position the People’s Assembly has called for; but both the Labour and Green candidates are nominally against austerity (though the former has chosen not to foreground this in his campaign) and we get two preferential votes.

Furthermore, several councillors (9 Greens, and 1 Lib Dem) have already voted against previous cuts budgets on an anti-austerity basis, and it seems likely that the more pro-Corbyn Labour candidates could be pushed to resist (though it should also be noted that so far all of Bristol’s Labour councillors have voted en masse for every cuts budget proposed during their times in office).

To help build the resistance against this intensification of austerity, we need a Mayor who will take a public stand against Tory austerity and fight for fairer funding, and councillors who are prepared to do that and also (alongside the Mayor ideally) prepared to vote against cuts budgets and prepare their own ‘needs budgets’.

Let’s use our vote this May 5th to make that possible. But even in a best case scenario, this election will not save Bristol’s public services. Only we can do that.