Leicester News Round-Up #1

In order to “help” deal with the ever-increasing numbers of homeless people, the Leicester City Council “says it intends to shut two hostels it runs itself — in Lower Hastings Street and Loughborough Road — while also reducing the cash it gives to voluntary sector groups to provide beds.” The Council’s motto is apparently: spend less and get more?

In related efforts to get better public services by spending less money, Leicester City Council is closing four city council-run care homes “in a shake-up of adult social care.” Local residents doubt the efficacy of such a fuck-up of the few remaining council-run care homes, and more than 1,000 people have signed a petition to try to save Herrick Lodge care home, in Belgrave.

After “consulting” the public, the council’s cabinet has agreed that it would no longer provide discretionary school travel subsidies and concessionary fares in Leicester. As reported earlier in the week: “A report said of the 484 responses [to the consultation], 90 per cent disagreed with the removal of subsidies for post-16 transport and 61 per cent with axing subsidies for faith schools.”

In a sham display of solidarity, “Jon Ashworth and Liz Kendall have said they do not want the £10,000 pay rise expected to be recommended for MPs.” Of course this bonus is not something either MP need, as both are quite content on slashing the Council’s budget and cosying up the super-rich; and will no doubt accept profitable consultancy work in the corporate world in the near future. For example, Kendall is already a vice-chair of Lord David Sainsbury’s right-wing pressure group Progress; while Ashworth is regularly peddling corporate propaganda (under the guise of philanthropy) in our schools.

On a related front, things are looking great for the super-rich, and building firm Barratt, which is the UK’s biggest house builder, has just announced that “pre-tax profit before one-off costs was up 73 per cent to £192 million in the year to June 30.”

Finally we can be thankful that the savage cuts to the Council budget might be reversed in the near future as “Hundreds of taxpayers are being offered the chance to come forward and pay their outstanding tax returns.” One can only hope that the first hundred taxpayers to come forward are the filthy rich corporate scroungers who employ legal wizardry to evade tax: think of what we might do with the £120 billion a year that goes uncollected from the super-rich.


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