To: Caro Wild, candidate for the Labour Party for Riverside, Cardiff
Re: Meeting with local trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners
Dear Caro Wild,
We are writing to you as a council candidate to ask how we can build on Jeremy Corbyn’s call for councils to stand together and refuse to implement government cuts.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), co-founded by the late Bob Crow, is determined that working class people should not pay for a crisis that we did not cause, and we are happy to work together with Labour representatives who take the same stance.
We believe that Jeremy Corbyn is right to highlight the potential that councils have to resist austerity. Councils still control budgets totalling billions of pounds and have more financial powers than is commonly realised. TUSC has a core policy platform for local councils which can be found on our website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy.
No cuts budgets
In the last couple of years TUSC has worked with councillors in Southampton, Hull and Leicester to present legally compliant no cuts budgets to the annual budget-making meeting. Based on the use of reserves and councils’ borrowing powers, they were designed in each case to buy time for the council to organise a broad public campaign to compel the government to restore its funding. Unfortunately, on each occasion, the alternative budgets were rejected by the majority Labour groups.
One reason for doing so was that each council Labour group felt itself to be facing the government’s cuts on its own. But surely that wouldn’t be the case now, if Jeremy Corbyn is elected Labour leader? TUSC believes that in the new situation opened up by a likely Jeremy Corbyn victory, there really is no reason why Labour councils and the Welsh government should not combine together and refuse to implement the Tories’ brutal austerity agenda.
That is why we would like to seek your view about the possibilities of joint action against austerity, based on our council joining with others to present no-cuts budgets at the budget-making meetings in early 2016.
We are writing to you to ask for your pledge to vote against any cuts to jobs and services if elected. The ward you will represent is one that feels the housing crisis most severely, which is why we’re also writing for your assurance that you will call for the Council to adopt a no-evictions policy for those tipped over the edge by the bedroom tax, and your pledge to call on the Welsh Assembly to take the Scottish Road and scrap the bedroom tax in Wales, abolish upfront fees for tenants and introduce rent control to lower rents.
There is a desperate and international searching for an end to the failed policies of austerity.
Hoping that you will join with us in building that alternative,
Dave Bartlett, Secretary
Steve Williams, Chair
Cardiff Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition