Manchester Labour councillors Julie Reid and Aftab Ahmed have said they will vote against the City Council’s cuts budget. Other councillors may also vote against, and some will abstain.
The spending cuts in Manchester mean not only a further 900 council jobs to go — 2,000 had been cut last year — but also the closure of five swimming pools, six libraries, and a Council Tax rise of 3.7%.
Our city had already been hit with a £170m government funding cut. we now face a further £80m of government funding cuts for 2013. Top all this off with the changes to the benefits system, Bedroom Taxes, housing benefit being cut for under 35 year olds and a massive shortage of public housing: Manchester has taken a severe kicking!
The people of Manchester, like other towns and cities across the North West, are struggling to come to terms with the harsh reality these cuts mean. People can no longer turn to DWP for help as Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans have been abolished. Only extreme cases will get occasional Hardship Allowances.
People will struggle to get any financial help, with the only place to turn being one of the ever many food banks opening up. Manchester’s council Leader Richard Leese warned Mancunians that the people of Manchester are about to get poorer and that the council will no longer be able to protect us, yet he continues to defend implementing the cuts with no resistance, just a “make do and mend” attitude.
During one of his sessions on Twitter, when asked if Manchester councillors would fight back against the Tory cuts and not vote through the budget cuts he replied “you want us to piss in the wind?”
Manchester has though begun to see signs of resistance. Within the Labour Party, members and councillors are making contact and discussing how to organise ourselves to put pressure on the Labour Leaders to fight these destructive policies.
Local anti-cuts campaigns have popped up all over the city. We want our council leaders to head a fight back . We want them to head a campaign that sends out a message to the Tories that is loud and clear, we are angry, we are fighting back, are not pissing in the wind!
Councillors of Manchester stand by us, let the Tories do their own dirty work, and we will stand by you!