Hillingdon council have been trying to deny that they will be making any cuts to frontline services, or even that they need to make cuts at all. They were lying. They have proved themselves to be slavish adherents to the ConDem government’s slash and burn, austerity agenda.
Hillingdon Against Cuts has heard today that the council plans to completely close down Hillingdon Music Services from June this year. They also intend to merge Children’s Services with Adult Services, as well as close down the Connexions Service in Hillingdon. The Solo program which houses young homeless people is also being wound up.
These services provide vital resources to children and young people in the borough. Closing them will have a serious negative impact on the lives of young people in the borough. Hillingdon Music Service gives young people access to a world of music and culture which they might not otherwise have, giving opportunities for personal growth and development and leading kids away from street culture and petty crime. Connexions is an invaluable resource for young people looking for work, education or training. Closing the Solo program is going to leave young people homeless, a terrible fate for anyone. With Children’s services being severely cut and merged with Adult Services, there will be far fewer resources available to look after the kids affected by these cuts!
These cuts are becoming part of the national story. Across London, and up and down the country, councils are attacking ‘soft’ or ‘weak’ targets, like children’s services, or provision for the elderly and disabled. Our neighbours in Ealing are facing the closure of two day care centres for disabled adults. In Hounslow, the council is slashing the libraries bugdet.
Hillingdon Council thinks that they can get away with this! They think that the people of Hillingdon do not care about services for the young, the elderly or the disabled! We have to show them they’re wrong!
The fact is, the council does not have to make these cuts. For a start, they council can use it’s cash reserves to delay closing down services. This can buy time to build a campaign to demand that the funding to the council be restored by central government. Any Councillors who voted against cuts would be bound to receive a great deal of support from local residents and trade unions.
However, the Councillors won’t do this unless we make them! We need hundreds and thousands of people across the borough to write to their Councillors and MPs demanding they vote against cuts to public services!
We also need hundreds of people to Lobby the council meetings, on the 17th and 24th of Feb, at the Civic Centre in Uxbridge at 6.30pm. A big show of support can force the council to change its mind.
Support Hillingdon Music Services: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=125310424209369