Swansea protests against £80 million council cuts
Labour councillors pass Tory cuts
Swansea Trades Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supporters joined trades unionists, including the Council UNISON branch and Swansea Trades Council, in lobbying councillors to reconsider potentially devastating cuts to jobs and services on Tuesday. Swansea's Labour councillors voted on proposals to make £80 million + of cuts over the next three years at the Council budget-setting meeting.
The Cabinet made some minor concessions to public opinion and reduced cuts in a handful of areas but instead will propose ordinary people in Swansea pay for these changes with a 4.8% increase in Council Tax. So, for instance, the Council has retreated on charging for residents' parking (for now) but people will end up paying as much or more in increased Council Tax.
Ronnie Job, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) prospective parliamentary candidate for Swansea West, like all TUSC candidates, is committed to fighting against and voting against, all cuts to jobs and services.
Also, like a lot of parents in Swansea, he has good reason to fear for his children's education, with the Council voting on a £24 million, 15% cut in funding over three years. The Cabinet will recommend this level of cuts to schools despite warnings from primary heads in Swansea, of the number of teaching and other jobs that will be lost and the likelihood that this will result in class sizes of 42+ in a number of schools.
"The Council want to sell off my son's school playing as 'surplus land' but the threat to school playing fields is only the tip of the iceberg as far as council cuts to education in Swansea are concerned. When primary heads were asked what budget cuts of this level would mean in Swansea schools, they predicted job losses of teachers and other school staff. This, they said, would lead to a failure to meet the statutory requirement for 5-7 year olds to be taught in classes with a maximum class size of 30 and older pupils being taught in classes of 42+ in a number of schools.
"The Council's only response seems to have been - other areas, like social services, face bigger cuts.
"A Labour Council is devastating education and taking risks with our children's futures. It's not acceptable!
"Remember councillors are voting on cuts for the next 3 years, when they hope and expect to have a Labour Government in 3 months' time. They obviously expect no noticeable improvement from a government of their own party.
"If you care for the future of services like education then join TUSC in demanding Labour councillors reconsider these devastating cuts."
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