Hastings and District Trades Council Anti Cuts Campaign
Hastings Anti Cuts Campaign, supported by the Hastings and District Trades Council.
The latest Hastings Anti Cuts Campaign had another excellent turn out for the meeting at the Unitarian Church on 15th December.
The following issues were discussed and action proposed and agreed.
The meeting agreed they were very unhappy and disgusted with the comments made by the Hastings Tory MP in the local paper in which she stated there were a lot of positive things in relation to the savage cuts proposed for Hastings, which are among the highest in the country. She supports the government attacks on public services and is obviously towing the party line. We realise we now have no one representing the people of Hastings in Parliament. Members of the campaign will lobby to get clarification of her position and report back.
The meeting gave and will continue to give full support to the student protests up and down the country and totally condemns the police brutality against the students.
UK anti cuts are to hold a protest in Hastings town centre on Saturday 18th December, this is against serial Tax dodging companies such as vodaphone and top shop. So far there have been 43 different town actions against these types of tax dodgers; this is not a nationally organised structure, its people with the same mind set taking direct action. Meet at Costa coffee 12pm
The issue of a separate web site for the campaign was raised, a web site expert was at the meeting and a working group has now been set up to take forward. In the meantime Sam Buckley will set up a Facebook page for the group.
A benefit gig is being organised in Hastings, bands have agreed to support campaign and play for free, flyers will be produced and handed out in the town centre and it’s hoped to raise Money to pay for transport and items for the national anti cuts demonstration on 26th March. Further details as soon as they have been confirmed.
The Hastings anti cuts campaign has been invited to attend two national events in the New Year. Karen Mahon and Fraser MacInnes will attend the National Shop Stewards Network conference on 22/01/2011. S. Buckley will seek further info re the Right to Work conference.
A local update was given of current issues and potential job losses in the public sector which provides 43% of all employment in Hastings and St Leonard’s. The DWP is looking at 25% cuts this means at leat 200 job losses in Ashdown House. Serious concerns were raised regarding the cuts to Hastings Council. 28% cuts over 4 years, Govt introducing propaganda to change ways of measuring, called Real Spending Power R.S.P. people were warned this is a con to make cuts look better than they are. In cash terms Hastings could be looking at eventual cuts approaching 50% which will be devastating. Redundancies are inevitable just a case of how many. Hastings Budget will be on 14th January, we know that 180 jobs will go in education.
Concerns were raises regarding privatisation in the NHS which will again lead to redundancies. £75 million savings over 4 years, which may mean 250 job loses per year.
It was agreed all this would have a disastrous effect on Hastings, it means Hastings is subsidising the other wealthy privileged councils in the South East and Hastings has been singled out to take the biggest hit. The meeting agreed we need to mobilise as a town, we need regular protests and need to engage the people of Hastings, there is a real fight ahead. The meeting agreed to carry on leafleting in the town centre every Saturday, to hold anti cuts rallies in the town centre, organise a massive petition to inform and get people involved, to have strong communication channels through web sites, social networking, the Trade Unions, and every group prepared to fight against the cuts.