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Saturday, 6 April 2013

Why I’m standing for TUSC

I initially wasn’t going to stand this year for elections in the county council but I am glad I have thrown my hat into the ring now. It hasn’t been easy for a blind person to stand in elections there is so many inaccessible forms to fill in and getting nominations is a challenge too I eventually managed this though with the help of my comrades who I thank hugely. I will be standing in the Tory rural strong hold of Ware north in East Hertfordshire. The initial policies I will be standing on are • Oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions - we reject the claim that 'some cuts' are necessary to our services. • Reject increases in council tax, rent and service charges to compensate for government cuts. • Vote against the privatisation of council jobs and services, or the transfer of council services to 'social enterprises' or 'arms-length' management organisations, which are first steps to privatisation. • Use all the legal powers available to councils, including powers to refer local NHS decisions, initiate referenda and organise public commissions and consultations, to oppose both the cuts and government polices which centrally impose the transfer of public services to private bodies. • When faced with government cuts to council funding, councils should refuse to implement the cuts. We will support councils which in the first instance use their reserves and prudential borrowing powers to avoid passing them on - while arguing that the best way to mobilise the mass campaign that is necessary to defeat the cuts is to set a budget that meets the needs of the local community and demands that the government makes up the shortfall. This is the basic TUSC programme it’s designed as a basic outline as candidates can add bits to it for their local campaigns and local issues which affect them in their area. As I’m standing in Ware North I stand also against local cuts handed down by the Tory lead Herts County Council which include cuts to street lighting at night which I’ve previously blogged about, the cuts to lollipop crossing workers putting children’s lives at risk when walking to and from school and cuts to budgets on the roads meaning we have some of the worst kept roads in the county with many pot holes on our counties roads. Its clear labour are no alternative and in Hertfordshire this is no different their record in local councils like Stevenage Borough Council highlights this where they have implemented the cuts passed on to them from the con-dem government. The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition do not accept any cuts are necessary and in fact even more investment is needed in our public services. There is poverty in Ware despite many thinking we are in a relatively well off area no doubt some are doing quite well but how long this will last as the financial crisis deepens by the month. In ware we have a food bank which serves around 200 people a week so anyone pretending Ware is well off is lying as many who use a food bank are actually in low paid work often unsocial hours that are not paid enough to live on. Hertfordshire County Council should look to pay all its employees a liveable wage not just a living wage which his a code for a increased minimum wage but a wage that workers can live on properly without the need for benefits or food banks. I do not expect to gain hugely from standing this may but by me standing it offers the people of Ware and beyond an alternative from the main cuts parties. TUSC will be contesting 125 seats this may up and down the country with a candidate for the Mayor of Doncaster too. If you wish to find out more check out www.tusc.org.uk

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