ANTI CUTS CAMPAIGNERS CALL PROTEST AT COUNCIL BUDGET MEETING

Trish Marchant says: Medway Green Party are active supporters of Medway Against the Cuts. The following is a press release about the anti-cuts demo planned for Thursday’s full council meeting:

Local anti-cuts campaigners are calling for a protest outside the Medway Council meeting next Thursday 24th February when the Council will be setting their budget and agreeing cuts for the forthcoming year. Medway Against the Cuts (MAC), launched at a public meeting called by Medway Trades Union Council last October, say that Tory Councillors are deliberately hiding the true impact of the proposed cuts because of the Council elections that are due to take place in May.

A spokesperson for Medway Against the Cuts said, “We are being told that proposed cuts are fairly painless. The Tories are being deliberately vague about how some of the cuts they have announced are going to be delivered. We believe that the real impact of the cuts will only become clear after the election and that they will hit the poorest and most vulnerable. MAC is opposed to any cuts that have a detrimental effect on the lives of ordinary people. We believe that Councils should oppose the Government’s cuts and refuse to cooperate with them.”

The call for a protest was endorsed by Medway Unison Branch Secretary, Tania Earnshaw, at the Kent Save Our Services public meeting at Rochester Corn Exchange on Thursday. Tania was dubious that the figures given by the council would in reality add up to £23.5 million. Unison suspects that the council is deliberately delaying significant cuts to front line services until after the local government election as it wanted to lull the public into a false sense of security. The 12% cuts the council is addressing in this budget , will be followed in the 2012/3 year by another cut of at least 8%. Some of the councils savings are based on increased revenue from increased charges but Tania warned as the cuts start to hit the publics’ pockets, with the VAT rise, inflation and changes to child tax credits it is likely they will have less disposable income to spend on these council services so revenues could well go down rather than up.

The protest starts at 6.30pm on Thursday at St George’s Centre in Pembroke Rd Chatham.


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