Cambridgeshire’s ruling Tories are running a “Participatory Budgeting Project” for Violence Against Women and Girls projects in Cambridgeshire. Residents can vote for which VAWG projects get funding of up to £3,000 — and which get nothing.
Cambridge Rape Crisis is the only specialist VAWG organisation who has gone in for the vote (to avoid similar organisations competing). The service is a lifeline to women and girls who have experienced rape and sexual abuse. Funding will enable them to start running face-to-face counselling again.
It is disgusting that essential services are put up against each other for public vote, and women’s organisations pitched against each other.
Let the Home Office know how you feel about “participatory budgeting” using this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KD5KHZC.
Where there is not a generalised working class fightback against the cuts, the users of individual services under threat can find themselves competing against the users of equally valuable services down the road also threatened with the axe. The result can be petition wars.
For example, in Barnet, where Barnet Museum and Church Farmhouse Museum in Hendon are both due to have their funding axed, a competitive element has crept in to the campaigns of each. In fact, the philistine Tory council doesn’t care about either. We will all benefit by joining our campaigns and making the general case for the value of public services.