Bristol has a City Mayor who has the power to oppose Tory austerity right now, so too does Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby.
Both leaders have the choice of opposing the abominable Tory funding cuts that are killing both cities communities, because both are members of the Labour Party. Both leaders however have chosen to ignore the demands of local anti-cuts campaigners in order to carry through Tory austerity.
In the South West such socialist demands have taken on new significance in recent days as reported in the Bristol Post article “Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees facing pressure from own party to pass a ‘no cuts’ budget” (October 2, 2017).
It appears that at the last meeting of the Bristol Labour Party Local Campaign Forum, which took place on 27th September, a vote was taken which supported a motion calling upon Labour to set a no-cuts budget for 2018/19. The motion was passed by 16 votes to 12 with leading Labour members calling upon Mr Rees “to dip in to the council’s reserves” to halt all proposed cuts to frontline services.
One might hope that local Labour members in Leicester might take the initiative to pass a similar motion. Certainly there would be popular support in the city for such a progressive vote.
It wouldn’t be the first time that trade unionists have called upon Sir Peter Soulsby to set a no-cuts budget in Leicester. Indeed on 16th February, earlier this year, the Leicester & District Trades Union Council gave their unanimous backing to a Unison motion that called upon our Labour Council to get their finance officers to investigate the possibility of setting a no-cuts budget with immediate effect.
This letter was published in the Leicester Mercury with a confusing title (thanks to the Mercury’s editor) on October 16, 2017.