Almost 150 Councillors from across the country recently signed a letter slamming the Government for massive funding cuts and gave their support to today’s People’s Assembly demonstration in London, which successfully brought together 150,000 people under the banner, for “Health, Homes, Jobs & Education.”
Despite professing rhetorical opposition to the Tories cuts agenda, not a single one of one Leicester’s 52 Labour councillors could be bothered to put their name to this letter; more shamefully though, none of these councillors had the nerve to publicly endorse Jeremy Corbyn during last year’s Labour leadership contest.
With an extra £3.5 billion axed from public spending, local authorities are among those that will be bearing the brunt of the failed Tory austerity agenda.
Labour councillors should, of course, support protests like those organised by the People’s Assembly and councillors from other cities have done so.
For example, Nottingham City Council is similarly dominated by the Labour Party as they hold 52 of the 55 council seats, and in that city, seven Labour councillors took the time to sign the People’s Assembly’s anti-austerity letter (including their deputy leader Cllr Graham Chapman).
Obviously signing petitions and supporting mass protests is not enough, but it is a starting point and certainly indicates that some councillors are more in tune with the needs of their constituents than others.
This letter was published by the Leicester Mercury on April 23.
Members of Nottingham City Council who signed the letter include: Cllr Mohammed Ibrahim; Cllr Sam Webster; Cllr Steve Battlemuch; Cllr Brian Grocock; Cllr Carole Jones; Cllr Ginny Klein; Cllr Graham Chapman. Only one of these councillors, Steve Battlemuch, publicly endorsed Corbyn during the Labour leadership campaign.