Friday, 26 September 2014

Leicester conference: planning for a People's Budget
Councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter
Councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter
  

A conference has been organised for October 25th to draw up a 'People's Budget' for Leicester. Hosted by Leicester TUSC and the two rebel Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts (LICAC) group members, councillors Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor, the aim is to create a budget based on the real needs of Leicester's residents.

The conference will discuss, for example, how Leicester council could save the community centres it is threatening to close, keep the city's adventure playgrounds and Sure Start centres open, and reverse the privatisation of its elderly care homes. 

And other policies on housing, the living wage, the NHS and young people - such as funding a 'Leicester EMA' to replace the payments to 16-18 year olds staying on in education lost when the Con-Dems abolished the original Education Maintenance Allowance scheme. 
 
These and other ideas brought to the meeting by residents, trade unionists and community campaigners will then be presented to next year's council budget-making meeting by Wayne and Barbara in opposition to yet another cuts budget planned by the city's ruling group of Labour councillors. 

And if - or more likely when! - the People's Budget is rejected by Labour, it will be the basis for a city-wide challenge in next May's local elections, on the same day as the general election.

Click here for more...

  • To see a copy of the Leicester TUSC flyer explaining more about the conference and the People's Budget plans, click here.

Are there any Labour councillors in Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or anywhere else in Staffordshire who are prepared to stand up against cuts and work with TUSC for a People's Budget?
Scottish TUSC post-referendum conference: preparing for 2015 and 2016
      

A post-referendum conference of the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has been called to discuss building an anti-cuts and socialist election challenge in Scotland for 2015 and 2016.

The meeting will be held on Saturday 1st November (from 12pm to 4-30pm) at the Blythswood Hall Renfield St Stephens Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP.


A NEW A3 folded TUSC broadsheet is now available appealing for candidates to stand in next May's elections.


Election planning: new TUSC broadsheet appealing for candidates, and a 'battleground directory'
TUSC 2015 candidate appeal broadsheet

      
The broadsheet includes an outline of our approach to the general election, TUSC's ten-point core policy platforms for local elections, and a brief explanation of what TUSC is and who is involved.

 It's ideal for distribution at trade union meetings, anti-cuts events and as a general introduction to TUSC on picket lines and protests.
 
You can view the broadsheet at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/313.pdf

Saturday, 6 September 2014

FIGHT AGAINST CANCER SELL-OFF CONTINUES TO GROW
 
TUSC supporters who were unable to attend today's Cancer Not for Profit pubic meeting in Stafford made up for it by doing a Stop the Cancer sell-off campaign stall in Hanley. Many people stopped to sign our petition and took away TUSC leaflets which explain how we can step up the campaign to stop this privatisation going ahead.

TUSC supporters on Longton campaign stall
This followed on from an even better stall yesterday in Longton where at times people queued up to sign our petition and discuss how we can fight back. In total over two hundred people signed up their support.  

Campaigning in Hanley
99% of those we spoke to agreed with what we had to say about the urgent need to step up the campaign. A majority had no faith in Tory, Lib Dems or Labour to defend the NHS from privatisation.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

NO TO COUNCIL's SHAM CUTS CONSULTATION - YES TO A PEOPLE'S BUDGET!
 
"Poor turnout at My City, My Say forum in Meir" was the Sentinel's verdict on last night's council 'consultation' public event in Meir.
 

 As you can see from the Sentinel article (linked above) not one person came along to the 'consultation' forum in Meir to ask FOR cuts to carried out. Despite this the council will continue to use these forums as an opportunity to try and smooth the path for more savage cuts than we have already suffered. In reality, Stoke-on-Trent city council's now annual sham consultation with residents will be met with indifference and anger across the city.

What is there to discuss with a Labour council that has already slashed thousands of council jobs, forced through the closure of care homes, children centres, libraries, swimming pools etc despite massive opposition, and already announced it will make staggering cuts of another £150 billion to council jobs and services over the next six years? If they have already decided to carry out these massive amount of cuts then the 'consultation' is a waste of time and money.

There is only two questions really worth asking the city council.

Firstly, "can you tell us what services would actually be left after another six years of cuts?" If they are honest, which is unlikely, they would have to admit that further cuts of £150 billion would mean the vast majority of services will be either cut, closed or privatised.

The second question flows automatically from their determination to carry out the Tories' cuts, "What is the point of a Labour council or any other council that continues these slash and burn policies?"

But it doesn't have to be this way. TUSC councillors, although at this stage small in number, are showing what can be done ........................................

Rebel councillor links with TUSC to launch Plymouth 'Peoples Charter' consultation

Plymouth councillor Alison Casey will be speaking on Wednesday 3rd September at the first of a series of TUSC-hosted meetings across the city to draw up 'A Peoples Charter for Plymouth' as an alternative to the establishment parties' austerity policies.

Alison, a councillor for Moor View ward, will be explaining why she left the Labour Party and how she will now be better able to serve the community as an independent.
Also speaking at the 'Have your Say' public meeting, starting at 7pm at the Estover Youth Centre, Torbridge High School, will be Senior Youth Worker Nathan Cole, who will be talking about Estover Youth Club and the work of the Youth Service. Local community groups like Friends of Miller Way have also been invited to speak about their campaigns and activities.
Plymouth TUSC co-ordinator Alex Moore stresses that this is "not just another consultation exercise. We put people before profit and our council budget would not be based on what the Tory government tell us we can spend but on what the people of Plymouth need. The people in Moor View can be confident that we will adopt their demands for their community into our Charter and we will ask them to help us fight for it in the elections next May!
"From calls for green spaces to skateboard parks, TUSC promises that there will be plenty of time for people to have their say. Everyone is welcome!"
The launch of the 'Peoples Charter' consultation meetings, and the participation of Plymouth's rebel councillor in this anti-cuts initiative, has already made the pages of the local paper (see http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Chance-say-meeting/story-22846233-detail/story.html ).

Leicester anti-cuts councillors join up with TUSC

Councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter
Councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter   (Click to enlarge)

TWO LEICESTER anti-cuts councillors have agreed to join up with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the ever-widening fight against the establishment parties and their austerity policies.

Ex-Labour councillors Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor, who will sit on the council as the Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts group, will now be a constituent part of the Leicester TUSC steering committee, alongside the Socialist Party, the SWP and prominent trade unionists in the city.

In a press statement announcing their decision to link up with TUSC, the councillors explained that while they were in the Labour Party they were loyal because they feared the alternative of letting the Tories in. But they were hampered in their aims of defending their local constituents and both now feel that they can do that better outside the Labour Party - and that the time had come to build something new both locally but also on a national level.
Councillors Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor sit with Leicester TUSC organiser Steve Score and TUSC national agent Clive Heemskerk
Councillors Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor sit with Leicester TUSC organiser Steve Score and TUSC national agent Clive Heemskerk   (Click to enlarge)
"To be a part of a national political group with an anti-cuts stance is what we wanted to achieve all along", said Barbara, "and we would like to thank TUSC and all of its city members for seeing that we can build a positive platform in Leicester".

"We want to build something that is credible for everyone who feels let down by both the government and the Labour council who are delivering cuts. We believe that there is a better way than this, and we will show people that it can be done", said Wayne.
"People are looking for something different, they have felt let down and need a political party that supports them in the difficulties they face".

Leicester TUSC is now planning a conference to discuss a 'people's budget' for Leicester on October 4th - which Barbara and Wayne will then present to the council at its budget-making meeting next year - and will be inviting community groups, trade unions and the people of Leicester to attend and contribute their views on what services the council should provide.
Councillors Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor stand with the TUSC banner alongside Leicester TUSC supporters
Councillors Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor stand with the TUSC banner alongside Leicester TUSC supporters   (Click to enlarge)

Are there any Stoke-on-Trent city councillors, or even just one, who are prepared to join with TUSC to make a stand against cuts like TUSC councillors in Leicester and Plymouth and elsewhere are doing?

 
Why not ask YOUR councillor is he or she is prepared to do so. If they say no, ask them why not!
 
If they still say no then why don't you stand as a TUSC candidate to fight the cuts!
 
Or maybe you would just like to help TUSC's fight against cuts? 
 
 
You can contact us by;
text or phone 07845893607
 
 

 

Monday, 1 September 2014


STEP UP FIGHT TO STOP £1.2 BILLION NHS SELL-OFF OF STAFFORDSHIRE CANCER CARE

The Tories have launched the biggest single privatisation of NHS services by inviting private companies to bid for £1.2bn worth of contracts to provide cancer care across Staffordshire.

Private companies compete to deliver cancer and end-of-life treatment for all - involving diagnosis & treatment such as radiology, radiotherapy, breast screening, chemotherapy, nursing & surgery for patients in hospitals, hospices & at home.

WE NEED ACTION NOW TO DEFEND THE NHS FROM THESE PRIVATE VULTURES!

Ordinary working class people had to fight to win a publicly owned NHS, now we have to fight to save it!

As news of the Tories' plan broke last March the response of Labour ministers reflected a resigned acceptance. Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow health spokesperson said, “David Cameron has placed the NHS on a fast track to fragmentation and privatisation. The next election presents the last chance to change course.”

Labour's recent promise to repeal the Health & Social Care act is a step in the right direction but we cannot trust Labour with the future of the NHS even if they form the next government.

Here are just a few examples to explain why ........................ 

The current £20 billion ‘savings’ being imposed on the NHS by the coalition government actually arose from Labour's plans while former Labour health secretaries Alan Milburn and Patricia Hewitt have earned tens of thousands of pounds a year advising firms specialising in healthcare investments, run private hospitals or provide outsourced services.

To become a Foundation Trust in 2005, Stafford Hospital needed to comply with financial targets set by the then Labour government. This meant 'overcoming' a debt of £10 million while forking out more money on a private finance initiative (PFI) deal to build a new entrance. This was paid for with 160 job losses in 2006 on top of the 100 that had already been cut. But this 'successful' outcome for the Labour government and financial rulers proved to be a disaster for some patients.

The last Labour government saddled the NHS with £65 billion of repayments for big business PFI projects worth only £11.4 billion with Andy Burnham telling us at the time that they were, “the right schemes and offer value for money”(!)

BUILD A MASS MOVEMENT 

Staffordshire TUSC supporters along with Unite and others came together to set up the Cancer Not for Profit (CNFP) alliance. It's already had a significant impact in just three months. For example;

Stoke South Labour MP Rob Flello has been pushed from commenting in March on the, “sheer haste of all this when much thought and sensitivity is needed” to saying in July, “This project must be stopped because it represents a massive extension of the creeping privatisation”.

Labour's council leader has been forced to publicly distance Stoke-on-Trent city council from a reported support for the sell-off.

But of more significance is the 10,000 people who have already said NO to the sell-off by signing the CNFP petition along with the 300 people who crammed into a Cancer Not for Profit public meeting last week in Stoke looking for a way to stop the sell-off of cancer care across Staffordshire.

Just over a year ago 50,000 marched through Stafford against Tory plans to dismantle Stafford Hospital and the fight goes on with a protest camp now well established at Stafford Hospital.

This opposition along with tens of thousands marching in Lewisham and elsewhere, health workers striking in Doncaster etc gives a glimpse of the massive and continuing anger which exists nationwide against NHS privatisation.

But isolated protests and anger alone will not be enough to stop the privatisation juggernaut. It's now more urgent than ever that a plan of action is drawn up nationally by the health trade unions, other unions, local communities, campaign groups etc to plan and carry out an organised campaign against the dismantling and privatisation of the NHS, including strike action if necessary.

Such a plan of action would need to include an end to all privatisation, including the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) along with a return of privatised NHS services and utilities back into a high-quality, free National Health Service under democratic public ownership and control

Such a campaign would receive support from millions across Britain, have the potential to stop the privatisation crusade and could get rid of this government even before the next general election. It would also be a warning to any incoming government to keep private vultures out of the NHS.
 
 
TUSC joins striking Doncaster care workers and CNFP in support of Stafford Protest Camp


TUSC ACTION AGAINST NHS PRIVATISATION!


Local TUSC supporters were the first to campaign against the £1.2 billion NHS sell-off. We have already held over 80 campaign stalls across the area with over 1600 signing our petition. We have organised TUSC public meetings and are working with campaign group Cancer Not For Profit to organise public meetings and other events.

Last May TUSC candidates stood in local elections in Newcastle with a fighting programme to STOP the dismantling and privatisation of the NHS and will be standing again in the 2015 elections in Stoke, Newcastle, across Staffordshire and nationally.

If you are interested in standing as a TUSC candidate, can help in any other way or just want to find out more call or text 07845893607