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National Campaign for funding of local government to prevent a new phase of austerity
A letter to the Labour Party leadership
Dear Keir, Angela, Steve (Reed) and Thangam (Debbonaire)
As Labour councillors, MPs, and trades unionists, who are opposed to a new phase of austerity we believe that unless there is a national campaign to press the government to fund local authorities sufficiently then Labour councils will implement cuts which, after 10 years of austerity, will have disastrous social consequences.
If Labour leaves each local authority to its own devices then the very people we should be supporting will suffer the consequences of job and service cuts. Some key workers who have played such a critical role in the pandemic will receive their thanks via redundancy notices and more people whose quality of life is dependent on social services will not receive them.
We therefore strongly believe that Labour should be opposing this new phase of austerity with a national campaign bringing together the Party with Labour councillors, local government (and other) unions and service users, to press the government to:
- Honour its commitment to fund councils fully for the extra costs of dealing with the pandemic, and the losses of revenue resulting from lock-down.
- Cancel local authority debt held by the Public Works Loan Board as an emergency measure which would provide councils with an extra £4.5-£5.5 billion spending power a year, and help to stabilise their finances. The government itself set a precedent when it cancelled NHS debt.
- Begin urgent discussions on a funding system based on an annual assessment of social needs in each locality.
- Provide £10 billion annual grant to fund building 100,000 council homes a year, which is necessary not only to address the acute housing crisis, but will provide economic stimulus as we come out of the pandemic, putting people back to work.
The government has been pressured into a number of U-turns. They can be forced into another one on local authority finances. We must demand the finances necessary to prevent a new phase of austerity in local government.
See the signatories so far:
|Apsana Begum,MP for Poplar & Limehouse||Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member Green City and Place,Southampton Council|
|Matthew Brown, Leader Preston Council||Shabir Pandor, Leader Kirklees Council|
|Ian Byrne, MP for Liverpool West Derby||Nadine Peatfield, Deputy Leader Derby Council Labour Group|
|Doina Cornell, Leader Stroud District Council||Bell Ribeiro-Addy, MP for Streatham|
|Coventry Council Labour Group||Paul Smith, Cabinet Member Housing, Bristol Council|
|Chris Emmas-Williams, Leader Amber Valley Council||Ian Ward, Leader Birmingham Council|
|Rokhsana Fiaz, Labour Mayor Newham||Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East|
|Mark Ingall, Leader Harlow District Council||Andrew Western, LeaderTrafford Council|
|Leicester Council Labour Group||Bex White, Scrutiny Lead Environment & Community Safety,Tower Hamlets Council|
|Luton Council Labour Group||Gilliane Williams, Labour Spokesperson Housing,Brighton Council|
|Trafford Council Labour Group||Paul Holmes, Candidate for UNISON General Secretary|
|Louise Farthing, Cabinet Member Children, Education and Skills,Sunderland Council||Christina McAnea, Candidate for UNISON General Secretary|
|Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member Adult Health & Care, Southampton Council||Roger McKenzie, Candidate UNISON General Secretary|
|John Gray, Cabinet Member Housing Services,Newham Council||Hugo Pierre, Candidate UNISON General Secretary|
|Jo Bird, Wirral Labour Councillor||Gaynor Lloyd, Brent Labour Councillor|
|Janis Blackburne, Sefton Labour Councillor||Jill Lovecy, Manchester Labour Councillor|
|Lindsay Broadwell, Leicester Labour Councillor||Tom Miller, Brent Labour Councillor|
|Jumbo Chan, Brent Labour Councillor||Jacky Nangreave, Leicester Labour Councillor|
|Jean Clark, Harlow Labour Councillor||Louise Nixon, Stafford Labour Councillor|
|Mandy Clare, Leader’s Champion for Poverty and Equality, Cheshire West & Chester Council||Lauren O’Grady, Nottingham City Labour Councillor|
|Ben Clay, Manchester Labour Councillor||Gillian Pardesi, Stafford Labour Councillor|
|Liz Clements, Birmingham Labour Councillor||Kevin Ritchie, Leeds Labour Councillor|
|Sarah Doyle, Liverpool Labour Councillor||Lou Robson, Birmingham Labour Councillor|
|Lara Ellis, Newcastle Labour Councillor||Gabriela Salva-McCallan, Tower Hamlets Labour Councillor|
|Paul Goggin, Bristol Labour Councillor||Jo Sargeant, Bristol Labour Councillor|
|Pauline Graham, Leeds City Labour Councillors||Sachin Shah, Harrow Labour Councillor|
|Ronald Grahame, Leeds City Labour Councillor||Tom Shaw, Luton Labour Councillor|
|Helen Holland, Bristol Labour Councillor||Sheffield Trades Union Council|
|Phil Jackson, Nottingham City Labour Councillor||Lena Simic, Liverpool Labour Coucillor|
|Tim Jeeves, Liverpool Labour Councillor||Laura Smith, Cheshire East Labour Councillor|
|David Jenkins, Leeds Labour Councillor||Kevin Stephens, Leader Gloucester Council Labour Group|
|Pavlos Kotsonis, Nottingham City Councillor||Anita Thorpe, Wigan Labour Councillor|
|Patrick Kitterick, Leicester Labour Councillor||Ross Wilmott, Leicester Labour Councillor|
|James Lavery, Telford & Wrekin Labour Councillor||Cate Woodward, Nottingham City Labour Councillor|
|Wendy Young, Newcastle Labour Councillor|