Thursday, 15 July 2010
Opposing cuts at the Council meeting
Brighton Hove and District Trades Union Council
At tonight’s meeting you are to be allowed a “debate” about proposals to cut £3.68 million from this year’s budgets, as a result of grant cuts from the Coalition Government, but you will not be allowed to vote on these cuts, nor propose alternatives. Instead, all the decisions will be taken by a small group of Conservative councillors in a week’s time. These cuts include :
o Cuts of £1,580,000 to education, young people and children’s services in Brighton & Hove this year.
o The removal of ring-fenced grants this year for vital services in Brighton & Hove, including: the Youth Opportunity Fund (worth £141,000), Aids/ HIV support (worth £455,000), Stroke Strategy (worth £93,000).
o £600,000 cut this year from the Playbuilder renovation of children’s playgrounds
o Cuts of £600,000 this year from Sure Start children’s centres in Brighton & Hove.
o Cuts of 25% in budgets are promised in the future
In addition to these measures, your employees working in local government are suffering a pay freeze (though we note that an increase in councillors’ allowances of 2.3% is being proposed by the Local Government Association).
Local people will suffer a rise in VAT to 20%, and cuts in housing benefit and tax credits from next year.
Yet at the same time, the Council is proposing to employ four strategic directors, each of whom will be on a salary almost as high as the Prime Minister’s!
Brighton and Hove TUC does not accept that these cuts need to fall on the most vulnerable in society. Those responsible for the financial crisis should be the ones to pay for it – principally the bankers and speculators – and money could be saved by not proceeding with useless schemes such as Trident, or paying large sums to “strategic directors”.
We will support workers who fight against cuts in jobs, privatization and any reductions in terms and conditions.