Online Petitions

Petition: Marvin Rees: set a no-cuts budget to fight Tory austerity!

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Awaiting submission
267 signatures 267 online signatures
0 signatures on paper
Lead petitioner Matthew Carey
Petition target Bristol City Council
Start date Thu, 21 Sep 17
Closing date Wed, 31 Jan 18
Last signatories
  • Alex Hall
  • Susan Gairdner
  • Kevin Salvy
  • Lucy Fieldhouse
  • Catherine Stockham
  • karen Evans
  • Simon Chapman
  • Maria Franchi
  • Lisa lock
  • Timothy David Hill
Signature information

We the undersigned consider the recent anti-austerity march called by Bristol mayor Marvin Rees to have been a welcome step forward in the fight against local authority cuts. We also support his co-operation with other Core City leaders on austerity; however we believe that to mount a credible and successful campaign against Tory austerity, the mayor must halt the proposed cuts. These cuts include attacks on libraries, public toilets, lollipop people, the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, Community Links and other vital services. He must then prepare to set a no-cuts budget for the financial year 2018/19. This will not be illegal if reserves and prudential borrowing powers are used. The resultant breathing space without cuts in Bristol must then be used to help lead a national mass campaign against austerity in local government. This campaign should involve the trade unions & link up with their fight against the public-sector pay cap. It should also involve local campaign groups, MPs & Labour leaders in other authorities & nationally. Enough is enough! Time for Bristol to fight the cuts!

Background information

Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance (BADACA) is glad that mayor Marvin Rees' has recognised the need to engage in struggle against the Tory government over austerity. As he rightly says, services are at breaking point in the city after years of Tory cuts. The mobilisation of local people, trade union branches and campaigning & political groups for the protest on 9th September was a big & important step in building the campaign to end austerity. But, as the non-attendance by Tory ministers at the mayor's presentation in Westminster on 12th September shows, the government will need more pressure on them if we're going to win.

BADACA has always opposed all cuts and we call on the mayor & the council to adopt the strategy of using reserves & prudential borrowing powers to halt the cuts in Bristol as part of a mass campaign across the country to end Tory austerity. This strategy would be legal and possible as Bristol City Council has nearly £200 million in reserves, most of which would be usable for the purpose of setting no-cuts budgets, if the elected councillors voted to do this. We note that the council and the mayor have made public assertions in the past about the impossibility of legal no-cuts budgets but we refute this and refer them to our supporting documents.

Taking this stand would allow Labour leaders locally & nationally to build the mass campaign necessary to defeat the Tories. This should include local and national campaigning groups, trade unions, political groups and ordinary people, much like those on the mayor's march but across the country.

Adopting a fighting strategy like this and taking the fight to the Tories is what is required now to save our vital local services. Implementing another three years of Tory austerity would be a massive backwards step for us all.

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