Firstly may I introduce myself, I am a City Councillor in Hull, elected for the first time in 2011 in a ward not having had a Labour Councillor for 12 years. I fought on a manifesto of no to cuts and firmly believe was elected as a result of my stand.
I did not vote as part of the group for the Tory /Lib Dem instigated cuts. I paid the price as a result and was suspended for a period along with two other colleagues during 2013. I was well aware of the role of the whip and the concept of collective responsibility but felt it would be inappropriate to vote in favour when the Labour Party in opposition were fighting cuts imposed by the liberal Democrat administration in Hull.
I do not consider myself as a “Militant” in the traditional meaning of the word within the Labour Movement but do consider myself a Democratic Socialist which leads me to the point of writing to you. I and several rank and file colleagues have huge concerns about our ability to deliver services for the next few years and are deeply concerned about the future of the Labour Party.
If Labour has any chance of winning Local and National elections we must develop policies that are radical and innovative that shows a clear divide between us and the opposition parties. This must be put forward to explain to the electorate that we are different to the other parties
We must stop any more draconian cuts in Local Government and the public Sector as a whole to reverse the crippling cuts experienced so far.
Whilst I am not an economist (and who would want to be in these times!) I know the value of money and the need for the public sector to take its share of the pain, but we still see the banking industry and the finance sector using their financial power to stifle the economy and limit borrowing. We must develop a national bank to be led by the co-operative movement/ credit unions to assist small business in particular.
Local government Labour Councillors should not be the scape goats for National Government cuts and the Labour Party should not be punishing councillors who feel morally bound to vote against the Tories cuts. It surely cannot be beyond the experience of the Labour Party rule book to take account of this.
We are now entering the next round of budget decisions for 2014/15. I and several colleagues will not be voting in favour of any cuts to an already decimated financial situation. We have leading Labour politicians deciding to outsource a substantial number of services to arm’s length companies as an ill-conceived way of justifying savings and removing direct management of Social Services in particular to a separate company with a few councillors on the Board of Directors, this is madness and no one has justified to me how this makes for a better service to our people.
Therefore I ask you to support councillors who feel that they are bound by their conscience and who wish to support their services in their wards to be exempt for voting for cuts that will have a detrimental effect on public services. (After all we are the Labour Party)
If you would like to discuss this matter with me I am more than willing to make myself available. I look forward to hearing from you.
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- Letter of Cllr Dean Kirk to Ed Miliband prior to his expulsion from the Party
- Expelled Cllr Gill Kennett’s letter to Ed Miliband – prior to her expulsion
- Oppose the suspension of Cllr Rosalind Copeland from Sunderland Labour Group
- Protest against expulsions of anti-cuts cllrs Gill Kennett and Dean Kirk from the Labour Party
- Councillors Against Cuts to meet UNISON national officers to discuss common campaigning against cuts