Hillingdon council, and indeed all councils across London, do not have to make cuts.
The Evening Standard revealed today that London Councils are sitting on £1.6 Billion pounds of reserve funding. This is supposed to be for an emergency or ‘rainy day’. Well Hillingdon Council, it’s pouring right now!
Hillingdon has £12.9 million in reserve funding. They could use this money to keep services running while they demand more money from central government, to restore funding to the previous level, as well as campaigning for more to increase the amount of services they provide to the people of this borough.
We are facing these cuts because central government has handed over 100s of billions of pounds to the banks. This has been used to prop up their failing system of speculation and gambling. Instead of using the money to invest in industry and jobs for 1 million unemployed young people in this country, or the further 2 million adults out of work, or indeed the further millions who are underemployed in part time and agency work, they have once again gambled with out money, creating further bubbles in the markets.
They have essentially used the money that would have been spent on public services to further enrich themselves and pay themselves huge bonuses. Now we all have to foot the bill, by losing our Connexions Service, Children’s Service and Music Service. Again to pay the bankers (who do nothing for us), housing benefit will be cut, social housing rents will be increased dramatically and public sector pensions will be cut.
If Hillingdon council, and the other London councils refused to implement cuts, and instead used their reserves to fund services, they could initiate mass campaigns involving local residents and trade unionists to demand more money from central government.
A council that did this would enjoy popular support, and just a few councils, taking determined action could force this government to its knees.
It seems that Hillingdon Council will not take this action. That is why we need to build mass support for the Hillingdon Against Cuts Campaign. If the council won’t take action, we will.
HAC Public Meeting
Wednesday 16th March
Civic Centre, Committee Room 4/4a