As things stand, it seems that Hillingdon Council intend to close the Connexions service, Children’s Services and make cuts to the Music Service, in spite of the pressure put on them by the mass lobbies and email campaigns.
However, nothing is set in stone. HAC has got good support from all the local trade unions, and the agenda of the ConDem Government faces mass opposition from all layers of society, on a local and national level.
HAC is therefore calling a public meeting for March 16th. We need to bring together all the local trade unionists and community campaigners to plan the next stage of the campaign. If the council faces determined opposition from all of us, they can be forced to change their plans and reinstate services and defy central government.
We demand that the council propose a new budget, based on the needs of the borough, that does not include cuts to vital jobs and services. The council should be demanding that their funding be restored by central government so that they can continue to provide the services that our council tax pays for. In the meantime, they can use the council reserves to ‘hold the line’ and keep services running, while a mass campaign in support is built. This campaign needs to include all sections of Hillingdon society, and be backed up by strike action by local unions against cuts in jobs and services.
The ConDem government is weak; they have a small majority in parliament, and their coalition is split on key issues. The Liberal Democrats could easily be forced to fold and withdraw their support for the conservatives in the face of a mass campaign. If several councils across London and nationally refuse to implement the Tory cuts, then it could cause the government to withdraw their attacks, and could even cause the government to collapse.
This means we have to do two things:
- Build a big campaign locally against the council cuts, and show them that the majority of people do not support them. The Labour group on the council should be participating in this campaign, provided they stand against ALL cuts to public services, and will vote against them in the council chamber.
- Support any action taken by local unions against the cuts, and should the council take a stand against cuts, support those councillors that take a principled position against cuts to public services.
Hillingdon Against Cuts is there for calling a public meeting to discuss this:
HAC Public Meeting
Wednesday 16th of March
Civic Centre, Committee Room 4
Also vital to the Anti-Cuts Movement is the massive demonstration called by the Trades Union Council on the 26th of March. This will take place in central London, with hundreds of thousands of Trade Unionists, Anti-Cuts Campaigners, Community Groups and ordinary people, marching to express their anger and opposition to the austerity agenda of the ConDem government. Everyone involved in the anti-cuts campaign in Hillingdon should attend, and show this ConDem government that we will not accept their cuts!
Go to this link for details of the Anti-Cuts demonstration: http://www.tuc.org.uk/theme/index.cfm?theme=alltogetherlanding