National Conference passes motions on opposition to council cuts

The recent National Delegate Conference of the People’s Assembly in London on December 5th discussed a large number of motions from branches across the UK, included 3 motions on local government cuts and devolution, all of which were passed by votes of delegates at the meeting.  You can see all the motions here.

A motion from Cardiff called on the People’s Assembly to launch a national campaign calling on councils to refuse to set cuts budgets this year and instead set ‘needs’ budgets based upon estimating what is actually needed to adequately maintain services and campaigning for the government to provide it.   There would be a parallel campaign in 2016 to bring on board Councils and Trade Unions, including a meeting convened by the People’s Assembly in the new year (Southampton motion).  The Cardiff motion was opposed by the People’s Assembly National Committee on the grounds that there was a need for further preliminary work, such as meetings with councillors to plan a way forward, before we could launch a national campaign against council cuts.   However, a speaker supporting the Cardiff motion felt that we could not delay any further, since local groups had opposed cuts since People’s Assembly was formed, drastic cuts of 30-50% over the next 4 years were already in the pipeline, and it was now urgent for the National People’s Assembly to provide a lead.    Despite some opposition, the Cardiff motion was passed by a substantial majority.  Details of the 3 motions from Southampton, Cardiff and Coventry can be found here.

Locally, Sheffield PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union) Town Committee recently called a meeting to initiate a campaign against further council cuts in Sheffield.  It was attended by members of PCS, GMB, Unite and Sheffield People’s Assembly.  After a useful discussion, the following action points were agreed:

1. Petition the council and try and raise 5000 signatures to force a debate at the full council meeting on 3rd February
2. Write to Sheffield Momentum re their conference on the 31st January
3. Provisionally agreed to call an “anti-austerity” event on the 13th Feb
4. Agreed a working group to look at implementing point 3 and discuss a media strategy. The first meeting will be on the 7th January in the GMB building in Norfolk street
5. Second meeting of the main body will be on the 14th January at the GMB premises.
An online petition has now been set up at change.org, and we urge supporters of Sheffield People’s Assembly to sign this.
Comments close after 28 days.