Friday, 17 September 2010

Haringey Councillors Urged to Fight Cuts in Services

Union members joined together last night to issue a ultimatum to Labour councillors in Haringey – reject government cuts or stand aside.

A demonstration was held outside Haringey Civic Centre calling for an end to cuts in the borough, and demanding councillors stand up against financial pressures from central government.

Jenny Sutton, a University and Colleges Union rep from the College of North East London was one of the leaders of the demonstration.

She told the Haringey Independent: “This is a Labour council and we are demanding they don’t impose Tory cuts – refuse to implement the cuts or stand aside and let people get elected who are going to fight.

“They cannot co-operate with these cuts because they have been elected to represent the people, not to do what the government tells them to do.
“What is being proposed is really savage and we have got to fight it where ever we can.”
The protest, ahead of the first cabinet meeting after the summer break, brought together a host of union representatives and activist from across the borough under the banner of Haringey Alliance for Public Services (HAPS).

The movement has been growing throughout the summer and organisers are hoping it will attract support from residents and councillors from across the political divide.
Richard Willmsen, a leading voice in HAPS, called on Lynne Featherstone, Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, to break ranks from the coalition government and impose the austerity agenda being pursued.

He said: “Lynne Featherstone was not elected to take the kind of decisions she is being asked to take.

“She is supposed to be the Equalities Minister but the disproportionate impact of cuts on women is something she needs to look at.

“This borough has a proud history of resisting Tory cuts, and the Labour council needs to remember that and start acting for the people that elected them.”

Pamela Harling, the Green party campaigns coordinator for Haringey who attended the protest, said afterwards, “The coalition government’s plans for cutting public services will devastate service provision in this area and across the country. The Green party put forward a fully costed alternative proposal at the General election to reduce the deficit sensibly and at the same time to invest in green jobs, which would strengthen the fragile economic recovery. The government’s plans threaten to throw us back into recession and to make those least able to, foot the bill. The Green party fully supports this campaign in resisting these damaging cuts”.

Bulk of the report and picture by Tristan Kirk from the Haringey Independent

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