Marvin Rees (right) - Labour mayor doing the bidding of Tory chancellors past and present
TUSC calls on Marvin Rees to reverse decision and fight for necessary funding
Bristol Labour mayor Marvin Rees has announced the cutting of 1000 jobs from Bristol City Council, almost 1 in 6 of the workforce. This is part of a package of £43m cuts, additional cuts of some £60m planned by Rees over the next 4 years will further devastate jobs and services in Bristol.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) demands that Rees reverses these job cuts and campaigns for the funding stolen by the Tory government to be returned.
Anti-cuts campaigners and trade unions representing council staff have also raised their concerns. The Unite, Unison and GMB unions all have positions nationally of calling on councils not to make cuts and to use reserves and borrowing powers to protect services while demanding more funding from central government.
TUSC former mayoral candidate and Bristol Socialist Party member, Tom Baldwin said:
“It seems that Jeremy Corbyn’s call for opposition to austerity has not reached every level of the Labour Party. These cuts are being driven by the Tory government but here we have a Labour mayor putting forward an eye-watering package of redundancies.
“This will be seen as a betrayal by many of the people who voted for Marvin Rees hoping for a change from the cuts made by George Ferguson. Libraries and care were amongst the areas cut in the last 4 years. Services will be decimated by the latest round of cuts, let alone the extra £60m cuts Rees says he ‘must’ make.
“Austerity is a political choice by the Tory government. They’ve found money to cut taxes for the rich but are cutting council budgets to the bone. Our mayor needs to be exposing this hypocrisy and sticking up for his staff and the vital services they provide, not acting as the Tories’ hatchet man.
“During this year’s elections TUSC were the only party to consistently warn of the impact of council cuts in the coming years. That’s because we were the only party with a plan to fight those cuts and stick up for jobs and services in this city.
“We call for a no-cuts budget that is based on what Bristol needs and the building of a mass campaign to push back the Tory government and reverse the swingeing cuts they’ve made. The council has significant reserves which should be used, along with prudential borrowing powers, to plug the funding gap while the campaign is built. By mobilising unions, anti-cuts campaigners and the communities that will be hit by the cuts and by linking up with other Labour councils that are willing to fight, the Tory cuts can be overcome.
“Marvin Rees must now adopt that approach if he doesn’t want to be known as the mayor that butchered Bristol’s services. The need to challenge austerity in deeds, not just words, is greater than ever.”