Letter to the Labour Leadership

To add your name to the letter email labourcouncilhousingcampaign@gmail.com

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Begin urgent discussions on a funding system based on an annual assessment of social needs in each locality.
  4. 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 & LimehouseSteve Leggett, Cabinet Member Green City and Place,Southampton Council
Matthew Brown, Leader Preston CouncilShabir Pandor, Leader Kirklees Council
Ian Byrne, MP for Liverpool West DerbyNadine Peatfield, Deputy Leader Derby Council Labour Group
Doina Cornell, Leader Stroud District CouncilBell Ribeiro-Addy, MP for Streatham
Coventry Council Labour GroupPaul Smith, Cabinet Member Housing, Bristol Council
Chris Emmas-Williams, Leader Amber Valley CouncilIan Ward, Leader Birmingham Council
Rokhsana Fiaz, Labour Mayor NewhamClaudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East
Mark Ingall, Leader Harlow District CouncilAndrew Western, LeaderTrafford Council
Leicester Council Labour GroupBex White, Scrutiny Lead Environment & Community Safety,Tower Hamlets Council
Luton Council Labour GroupGilliane Williams, Labour Spokesperson Housing,Brighton Council
Trafford Council Labour GroupPaul Holmes, Candidate for UNISON General Secretary
Louise Farthing, Cabinet Member Children, Education and Skills,Sunderland CouncilChristina McAnea, Candidate for UNISON General Secretary
Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member Adult Health & Care, Southampton CouncilRoger McKenzie, Candidate UNISON General Secretary
John Gray, Cabinet Member Housing Services,Newham CouncilHugo Pierre, Candidate UNISON General Secretary
Jo Bird, Wirral Labour CouncillorGaynor Lloyd, Brent Labour Councillor
Janis Blackburne, Sefton Labour CouncillorJill Lovecy, Manchester Labour Councillor
Lindsay Broadwell, Leicester Labour CouncillorTom Miller, Brent Labour Councillor
Jumbo Chan, Brent Labour CouncillorJacky Nangreave, Leicester Labour Councillor
Jean Clark, Harlow Labour CouncillorLouise Nixon, Stafford Labour Councillor
Mandy Clare, Leader’s Champion for Poverty and Equality, Cheshire West & Chester CouncilLauren O’Grady, Nottingham City Labour Councillor
Ben Clay, Manchester Labour CouncillorGillian Pardesi, Stafford Labour Councillor
Liz Clements, Birmingham Labour CouncillorKevin Ritchie, Leeds Labour Councillor
Sarah Doyle, Liverpool Labour CouncillorLou Robson, Birmingham Labour Councillor
Lara Ellis, Newcastle Labour CouncillorGabriela Salva-McCallan, Tower Hamlets Labour Councillor
Paul Goggin, Bristol Labour CouncillorJo Sargeant, Bristol Labour Councillor
Pauline Graham, Leeds City Labour CouncillorsSachin Shah, Harrow Labour Councillor
Ronald Grahame, Leeds City Labour CouncillorTom Shaw, Luton Labour Councillor
Helen Holland, Bristol Labour CouncillorSheffield Trades Union Council
Phil Jackson, Nottingham City Labour CouncillorLena Simic, Liverpool Labour Coucillor
Tim Jeeves, Liverpool Labour CouncillorLaura Smith, Cheshire East Labour Councillor
David Jenkins, Leeds Labour CouncillorKevin Stephens, Leader Gloucester Council Labour Group
Pavlos Kotsonis, Nottingham City CouncillorAnita Thorpe, Wigan Labour Councillor
Patrick Kitterick, Leicester Labour CouncillorRoss Wilmott, Leicester Labour Councillor
James Lavery, Telford & Wrekin Labour CouncillorCate Woodward, Nottingham City Labour Councillor

Wendy Young, Newcastle Labour Councillor