HANDS OFF OUR PUBLIC SERVICES
17th January 2011
HOOPS is stepping up its campaign against public service cuts in Tower Hamlets. On Wednesday (12th Jan) 150 people lobbied the Cabinet meeting at Mulberry Place. Council workers, trade unionists and local campaigners gathered outside the town hall to protest against the East End being expected to clean up the financial mess caused by greedy and incompetent bankers.
Inside the Cabinet meeting, the Mayor (Lutfur Rahman) received an angry deputation from workers and union leaders. John McLoughlin, branch secretary of UNISON, said the Cabinet’s claim that their draft budget, meaning cuts of £70 million, would not affect front line services was ‘incredible’. He condemned the plans to make hundreds of staff redundant saying:
‘Politicians always claim the cuts will start at the top, but they never do. It’s always low-paid, front line workers providing services to the most vulnerable in our community who are first in the firing line.’
Some of the home care workers in the audience facing the sack challenged the Mayor to come and see the work they do and accused him of not understanding the importance of their jobs.
On Saturday (14th Jan) HOOPS supporters held leafleting sessions around the borough, calling on local people to get involved in the anti-cuts campaign. In Roman Road Market Square, Gladys (73) said:
‘Seventy million pounds – that’s not a lot to them is it. How much are the senior managers getting paid? There’s always enough money for bankers bonuses.’
This Tuesday (18th Jan) HOOPS will be holding a local public meeting in Bethnal Green. School students from Morpeth School who have been fighting tuition fees and the scrapping of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) will be among the speakers, along with the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ohid Ahmed. The meeting is at 7pm at the Cranbrook estate tenants’ hall, Mace Street.
HOOPS is building momentum and pressure towards a mass lobby of the Council’s budget setting meeting on 23rd February.